What’s inside Hollywood Rd. Police Station?

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Today I stopped by the Refabricating City exhibition that’s taken over the former police headquarters on Hollywood Road. The focus of the show is urban development in Hong Kong and Shenzhen.

The Hollywood Road police station parcel of land is unique in Hong Kong since it contains a large flat open lot in addition to a network of several massive old buildings. It’s also special since it’s located directly in the center of the city. As it was decommissioned last year, urban planners have been deciding what to do with the place. In that sense it’s the perfect venue to host such an exhibition. The large scale show is spaced out over several buildings and occupies over fifty different rooms.

If you’re into contemporary architecture and planning, particularly in Hong Kong and China, this exhibit is for you. I was more interested in checking out the old buildings. Surrounded by massive stone walls with broken glass spikes at the top, I’ve always sort of wondered what the place looked like inside. (Contrary to popular belief, I was never a guest!) But while exploring the exhibition I discovered some fascinating models of what parts of Hong Kong currently under development will look like in a few years.

The show is expansive, almost to the point where it’s too large. There are interesting installations, photographs, posters, videos, scaled-down models, blow-up buildings and abstract objects to be perused. You will need at least an hour but preferably more.

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The prison cells now feature art installations in their drab, cramped confines. Just a brief look and you get the feeling this wasn’t a nice place!

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Several of the models stood out as interesting new concepts that are on the cutting edge of art and architecture. A few of them were breathtaking and seemed perfect for urban Asia. This one in particular was amazing. It’s something like a pyramid. I hope it gets made! (the see-thru nature of it reminded me of Kowloon Bay’s Mega-Box!)

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Hong Kong has a number of ambitious projects underway. They include developing the former Kai Tak airport, creating West Kowloon and the Central / Admiralty waterfront. If these models are anywhere near accurate, lots more green space and waterfront promenades are on the way.

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Some of the remnants of the police station / prison still remain!

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The Refabricating City exhibition (Hong Kong and Shenzhen Bi-City Biennial of Urbanism / Architecture is located at 10 Hollywood Road. It’s open until March 15th. The hours are from 10 am – 6 pm.

Free!

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