Clubhouse to become arts space

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 23 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 23 February, 2011, 12:00am

The former clubhouse of the Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club will be restored as a public arts space next year after standing idle since 2007.

The Leisure and Cultural Services Department's arts promotion office will take over the grade two historic building in Oil Street, North Point.

'The department will convert the site into an arts space with exhibition galleries, activity rooms and an outdoor display space for the promotion of community art,' Tom Ming Kay-chuen, executive secretary of the Antiquities and Monuments Office, said. The site was earmarked to house a temporary art museum, the M+, for the West Kowloon Cultural District in 2007. But the plan was dropped when officials decided to use different districts for exhibitions.

Renovation work will start in the second half and will be completed by the middle of next year. A heritage impact assessment will identify key elements for conservation.

The former clubhouse, on a 1,970-square-metre site, comprises several pitched-roof blocks built in 1908 in the Arts and Crafts style popular in the Edwardian period. Features include red bricks and rendering used in combination for the facade and prominent chimney stacks.

With reclamation along the shore of North Point, the clubhouse lost its waterfront location and was moved to Kellett Island. The old premises was used as a garage and government staff quarters for several decades until 1998. The antiquities office used it as a storehouse until 2007.

Separately, board chairman Bernard Chan said a meeting would be held to hear public views on the plan for the west wing of Government Hill.