Old Yacht Club converted into art space
Former Royal Yacht Club
Here was the headquarters of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club, a favourite haunt of the British and Chinese upper class. You may wonder why here? That is because where now the lawn is, was Victoria Harbour and yachts could moor right in front of the club, ready for a refreshing tipple.
The red brick Victorian-style building is more than a century old and has lived through two world wars and the Hong Kong handover. When the Yacht Club left the premises, it was the government supplies depot for some years until the time had come to demolish the building and sell the plot to the highest bidder. But it was 1998 and the financial crisis put a spanner in the wheels. Plans were put on hold and as a temporary measure, the depot was leased to local architects, artists, and designers. Over a hundred of them moved in and turned the place into an artist village. It saved the building.
The artists could not stay - they were moved to an old cattle depot in To Kwa Wan - but the artistic spirit remained and now it is the Oil Street Art Space with a lovely café and free public art exhibitions and activities.
Perfect for a picnic
The large lawn is dotted with lounge chairs, an oasis of green in the busy city. It was voted as “2016’s most beautiful public space”! You can even rent a picnic mat, just bring your own snacks and drinks.