Leisure & Culture #82

Around PMQ: the first public library in Hong Kong

Hong Kong City Hall

Written & Photos by PMQ Life
Translated by Wendy Yiu

Location:Hong Kong City Hall

Central has several libraries, but Hong Kong's first public library is also located in Central, in the historic Hong Kong City Hall, which is also the first multi-purpose cultural and entertainment center.

Completed in 1962, the City Hall adopts the Bauhaus architectural style, emphasizing simple geometric lines and functional spaces. It consists of a high and low block. The low block houses exhibition halls, music halls, a garden, and a memorial shrine to commemorate the soldiers and civilians who sacrificed their lives defending Hong Kong during World War II.

Beside the garden is a precious and recorded loofah tree, listed in the registry of ancient trees.

The high block houses the marriage registry office, and the long staircase leading from the garden to the registry office is a classic spot for wedding photography.

The staircase leading to the library in the high block has a symmetrical proportion that remains a classic example of modernism to this day. Its floor-to-ceiling glass showcases the Victoria Harbour view, and besides the view, it also introduces natural light into the building.

In 2009, the City Hall was recognized as a Grade I historic building in Hong Kong. In 2022, it was designated as the youngest statutory monument in Hong Kong. Although it has only a 61-year history, it is already part of our daily lives.

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