Former police dormitory turned design hub
A new creative hub
PMQ was built in 1951 as the Police Married Quarters, for officers and their families. In 2014 it started a new life as a centre for creative entrepreneurs and designers. With 130 studios for designers in a range of disciplines from food and fashion to film and photography, PMQ is a vibrant hub with creative workshops, exhibitions, shops, restaurants and a relaxing rooftop garden.
The ingenious re-design of the building has maintained many original features and has also created some large multi-functional spaces that can stage a range of events: fashion shows, design exhibitions and creative community workshops. To foster the entrepreneurial focus and stimulate collaboration between different design disciplines and nationalities, the design by Thomas Chow Architects revolves around the common space in the building to recreate the community feel:‘In the past, everyone lived together and the most important space in the building was not the dormitory units, it was the common areas, the verandahs and shared kitchens’.
The big college
HK’s Central School was originally on this site and was, commonly known as ‘the big college’. It was the first government school in Hong Kong to provide upper primary and secondary Western education. Undoubtedly it was the colony’s most prestigious school and many of those who shaped the city’s history received their first education in this grand building. Central School was later renamed as Queen’s College. During WWII the Japanese occupied the building and with the end of the war in sight, burnt it down completely. Queen’s College then relocated to Causeway Bay and even today it remains one of HK’s most sought after schools.
Police Married Quarters
After the war a modern building was built on the site to provide much needed accommodation for the newly recruited officers in the rapidly expanding police force: the Police Married Quarters. These housing benefits proved to be quite instrumental in attracting the bright and ambitious into the police force; the two former Chief Executives of Hong Kong, C. Y. Leung and Donald Tsang Yam-Kuen, used to live in the quarters.