Hong Kong’s program to conserve and rehabilitate historical buildings has reached a milestone with the official launch of the Jao Tsung-I Academy in Sham Shui Po on Monday.
The cultural project, located at the former Lai Chi Kok Hospital, is part of the Development Bureau’s Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme, in which the government establishes a partnership with the private sector to revitalize historical and cultural edifices.
In a ceremony marking the launch of the first phase, Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said the project provides an opportunity for locals and tourists to learn more about the Chinese culture, while revitalizing economic activities in the Sham Shui Po district.
The 32,000 square meter academy is named after world-renowned scholar, poet, artist and calligrapher Jao Tsung-I.
Since its soft opening in February, more than 35,000 people have visited the academy, indicating the high level of public anticipation and enthusiasm for the revitalization work, Leung said.
The first phase consists of six buildings, including the Heritage Lodge in the high zone, which comprises five hostels with a total of 80 rooms. The hostels have specific themes, namely piano, chess, poetry, books and paintings.
Visitors can rent a room at HK$600 (US$77) per night, with a 30 percent discount for those who are working in the cultural sector or have joined cultural activities, Headline Daily reported Tuesday.
The government has also started construction work for six other buildings under the second and third phases of the project, and evaluation work for four buildings for the fourth phase.
As part of the revitalization scheme, the government will officially launch the PMQ, a creative center located at the former Police Married Quarters on Hollywood Road in Central, this Saturday.
“These historical buildings after revitalization will not only push forward the development of individual industries, but also enrich the city’s tourism resources,” Leung said.
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