PMQ is a site with several layers of historical significance. It has been revitalised as a hub for creative and design industries.
History: Queen’s College and Police Married Quarters
In 1889, the Central School was relocated here from Gough Street. This was the first school providing a Western education at the upper primary and secondary levels to Chinese students. It was popular with the colony’s growing middle-class Chinese merchants.
Renamed as Victoria College and then Queen’s College, its alumni includes some of Hong Kong’s most successful and influential business tycoons. During the Second World War, the building was severely damaged and had to be demolished.
In 1951, the site started its next incarnation as the Hollywood Road Police Married Quarters — the first dormitory for Chinese rank and file police officers. Hong Kong’s population was rapidly expanding at the time and the need for a larger police force was urgent. The provision of living quarters was an attractive staff benefit. The site included 140 single rooms and 28 double rooms, with a semi-open design that allowed greater interaction between the residents. Most of the police officers living there would have worked in the nearby Central Police Station.
Revitalised as PMQ
In 2009 the site was listed as one of eight projects under ‘Conserving Central.’ Architecturally, it represents the typical modern style commonly found in the post-Second World War period, which is characterised by a functional and pragmatic approach on elevations and interior layout, with minimum decoration and spatial articulation.
Renamed as PMQ, the site is now a hub for design and creative industries. Its buildings have been retained, reinforced, refurbished and upgraded for new uses. Residential units have been converted into design studios and shops, offices for creative enterprises and lodging for visiting designers. The top floor of Block B is now a roof-top restaurant with a mezzanine floor.
Almost 100 design and creative enterprises are stationed in PMQ. Around half the tenants are in the fashion and household product design sectors with the rest in creative design categories such as fashion accessories, food, furniture, jewellery and watches, design services and design galleries. Exhibition space and event facilities are also available.