unesco honors SCAD

We're thrilled to hear that UNESCO had honored SCAD Hong Kong. Earlier this week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization awarded SCAD an honorable mention for the revitalization of the former North Kowloon Magistracy Building in its 2011 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation. The awards honor private individuals and organizations that have successfully restored and conserved structures and buildings of heritage value in the region.

"SCAD is proud to have accomplished so much during our first year in Hong Kong," said John Paul Rowan, vice president for SCAD Hong Kong. "Our community of talented students, professors and staff all contribute to making SCAD Hong Kong the great place that it is. We look forward to many more exciting years in the former North Kowloon Magistracy."

The university's internal SCAD Design Group led the revitalization project with the experience of renovating more than 100 historic facilities guiding it. Over the course of 18 months, SCAD invested more than HK$250 million of its own capital in the revitalization and start-up of SCAD Hong Kong without further investment from the Hong Kong government. When SCAD completed the renovation in 2010 it was the first organization to complete the revitalization of a building under the Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme.

"The adaptive reuse of the former North Kowloon Magistracy as an international university of the arts has breathed new life into a decommissioned 1960s government building," noted Tim Curtis, head of the culture unit for UNESCO Bangkok. "The project demonstrates the possibilities of adaptive reuse and is a model for successful public-private cooperation under the framework of Hong Kong SAR's policy for retaining and optimizing the value of heritage buildings."

We're really proud of SCAD, and believe they've set a standard for the re-use and conservation of significant buildings in Hong Kong. We hope that Hong Kong takes note of their lead as all eyes fall on the remaining sites around the city that have potential for being much more than high-rise shopping malls or residential developments, such as Central Market, Bridges Street Market, Central Police Station and Police Married Living Quarters.