|Hong Kong City Hall|
|Architectural style||International Style|
|Address||5 Edinburgh Place|
|Groundbreaking||25 February 1960|
|Completed||2 March 1962|
|Owner||Government of Hong Kong|
|Landlord||Leisure and Cultural Services Department|
|Material||Steel & concrete|
|Grounds||10,000 square metres (110,000 sq ft)|
|Design and construction|
|Designations||Grade I historic building|
|Hong Kong City Hall|
Hong Kong City Hall (Chinese: 香港大會堂) is a building located at Edinburgh Place, Central, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong.
Since Hong Kong is a "Special Administrative Region" and not a normal Chinese city, there is no mayor or city council; therefore, the City Hall does not hold the offices of a city government, unlike most city halls around the world. Instead, it is a complex providing municipal services, including performing venues and libraries.
The City Hall is managed by the Government's Leisure and Cultural Services Department. The Urban Council (UrbCo) managed the City Hall (through the Urban Services Department) and held its meetings there prior to its dissolution in December 1999. Prior to its dissolution the UrbCo served as the municipal council for Hong Kong Island and Kowloon (including New Kowloon). The UrbCo had its meeting chamber in the Low Block of the City Hall.
Main article: Old City Hall (Hong Kong)
Hong Kong's first City Hall, which existed from 1869 to 1933, occupied the current sites of the HSBC Hong Kong headquarters building (partly) and the Bank of China Building. It was designed by the French architect Achille-Antoine Hermitte and was opened by Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, in a ceremony on 28 June 1869. The current site of the HSBC Hong Kong headquarters building was occupied in part by the old City Hall, and in part by the first and second generations of the HSBC building.
The second and current City Hall complex was built in the late 1950s on a 10,000 square metres (110,000 sq ft) plot of land on the newly reclaimed seafront, about 200 metres (660 ft) from the first generation building.
The foundation stone laying ceremony took place on 25 February 1960 with Sir Robert Brown Black, then Governor of Hong Kong, who also presided over the official opening ceremony on 2 March 1962. The City Hall was placed under the responsibility of the Urban Council. It has been listed as a Grade I historic building since 2009.
It was designed between 1956 and 1958 by British architects Ron Phillips and Alan Fitch. With its clean lines and stark geometric forms, the new Hall is an example of the International style fashionable at the time. The structure was constructed using steel and concrete, and much of the equipment was of steel, glass and anodised aluminium.
The two separate blocks and gardens were laid out as a cohesive whole, along a central axis. The entrance to the lower block (exhibition hall) of the City Hall formed an axis with Queen's Pier to lend a sense of occasion to visiting dignitaries. On the façade of the Lower Block once had the old Coat of Arms of Hong Kong, which was removed before the handover in 1997. One major consideration was juxtaposing the city bustle whilst maximising public access to the surrounding area. Thus, the out-sized public areas of the Memorial Gardens and the piazza in front were conceived as a natural extension to promote the "freedom of movement and a sense of unlimited space".
The most important civic function performed by City Hall was as a ceremonial location for the swearing in of successive Governors following their inauguration: The 24th to 28th Governors all swore their oaths of office there.
City Hall's Concert hall and theatre have been an important home to the performing arts in Hong Kong since its inauguration. A number of culture events, including the Hong Kong Festival, Hong Kong Arts Festival in 1973, Asian Arts Festival in 1976, the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 1977, and the International Arts Carnival in 1982 were hosted there. The conference room of the former Urban Council was also at the lower building of the City Hall.
The High block once housed Hong Kong's principal public library, until a new Central library was opened in 2001; the Hong Kong art gallery (which became the Hong Kong Art Museum in 1969) began life there on the tenth and eleventh floors. The Hong Kong Museum of History relocated in 1975, and the Hong Kong Museum of Art also moved out of City Hall in 1991.
The City Hall Memorial Garden, located at the north-western quadrant between the High Block and Low Block, is a walled garden wherein a 12-sided dodecagon Memorial Shrine commemorates soldiers and citizens who died in defence of Hong Kong during the Second World War. It is a popular spot and obligatory backdrop for photographs of couples who celebrate their marriage in the City Hall Registry. Within the Memorial Shrine are embedded memorial Roll of Honour and Plaques to combat units who fought in Hong Kong during World War II (1941–1945). Inscribed on the walls of the Memorial Shrine are eight chinese characters evoking the everlasting spirit of the Brave and the Dead. The entrance gates to the City Hall Memorial Garden bear the regimental emblems of the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps and Royal Hong Kong Regiment.
The complex also incorporates a three-storey car park, with 171 car park spaces, which was also designed by architects Ron Phillips and Alan Fitch.
The second and current City Hall complex has two buildings, a garden and a three-storey car park.
City Hall Memorial Garden enclosing the World War II (1941–1945) Memorial Shrine
The High Block, a 12-storey building, is in the south-western end and houses a number of government facilities, including:
The 3-storey Low Block is at the eastern end, with the following facilities:
|11th floor||Reference Library / Business and Industry Library|
Multimedia Resource Centre
|10th floor||Reference Library (Entrance)|
Creativity and Innovation Resource Centre
|9th floor||Newspapers and Periodicals Reading Room|
|8th floor||Recital Hall|
Extension Activities Room
|7th floor||Exhibition Gallery|
Committee Room South/North
|6th floor||Computer and Information Centre|
Office of Computerization Unit, Hong Kong Public Libraries
|5th floor||Basic Law Library|
Adult Lending Library
|4th floor||Adult Lending Library|
|3rd floor||Adult Lending Library (Entrance)|
|2nd floor||Junior Library|
|1st floor||Marriage Registry|
|Ground floor||Library Cloakroom|