Published: Oct 12, 2011
HONG KONG - The Savannah College of Art and Design is pleased to announce that SCAD Hong Kong
, home to the university's Asian location and former site of the historically significant North Kowloon Magistracy Building, has been recognized by the 2011 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Culture Heritage Conservation
. This recognition marks SCAD's first UNESCO award.
"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."
SCAD received the former North Kowloon Magistracy Building in 2009 through the Hong Kong government's first-ever "Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme
," a program aimed at conserving and transforming historic buildings for innovative new uses. Built in 1960, the building is considered historic for Hong Kong, where new development has overtaken many of the region's historic neighborhoods. The building served as the main site for handling offenses in the Kowloon district until it was closed in 2005 due to consolidation of local magistracies.
"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."
SCAD worked closely with the Hong Kong Development Bureau on the revitalization. Given the strength of the university's academic programs in architectural history, architecture, historic preservation and interior design, along with SCAD's impressive record of revitalizing more than 100 historic facilities around the world, the university's internal SCAD Design Group led the revitalization project.
"The university's vision for the former North Kowloon Magistracy was to honor the structure's historic and cultural significance while updating it with leading-edge technology to create inspiring teaching and learning spaces for SCAD students and professors," said Glenn Wallace, SCAD senior vice president for college resources.
Significant features such as the complete exterior facade, original flooring, furniture, paint colors and other finishes were conserved and restored as the university created a 10,000-volume circulation library, art gallery, dark room, green screen motion capture studio, sound design studio, editing suites, computer labs, classrooms and lecture halls. Environmentally friendly features such as power efficient lighting systems, state-of-the-art cooling systems and solar reducing technologies were used in the process.
In 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 Hong Kong opened for classes in Sept. 2010, the university became the first organization to complete revitalization and open for use one of the buildings awarded through the historic revitalization scheme. The university now offers U.S. bachelor's and master's degrees in advertising
, graphic design
, interactive design and game development
, motion media design
and visual effects
The UNESCO Asia-Pacific Heritage Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation recognize the efforts of private individuals and organizations that have successfully restored and conserved structures and buildings of heritage value in the region. A panel of international experts in architecture, urban planning, heritage conservation and landscape design conducted the selection process.
Media inquiries may be directed to Sunny Nelson
with SCAD or Tom Ho
with Edelman Public Relations.
UNESCO-the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization-works to create the conditions for dialogue among civilizations, cultures and peoples, based upon respect for commonly shared values. The organization's mission is to contribute to the building of peace, the eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information. UNESCO's Asia and Pacific region is comprised of 50 member states.