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Hong Kong is a unique cultural hub, especially known for its food and dining experiences. But it also has some pretty interesting and diverse architecture. With a storied past involving both East and West, you’re likely to find all kinds of influences on design throughout the city. From contemporary Manhattan-like skyscrapers to Taoist temples to Victorian-style structures, Hong Kong is really something to see.
But there’s one specific building we want to talk about today.
The Magistry in Tai Kwun has opened as a new culinary and social space in Hong Kong. The current building was constructed in 1914 after its predecessor was demolished. It was made an official monument in 1997 as one of the oldest law buildings in the city; it used to host Hong Kong’s Supreme Court. Because the building hasn’t been operational since 1984, not much has happened in this space in nearly 40 years.
But a hospitality group here in Hong Kong, Black Sheep Restaurants, has transformed this building into a totally different concept. Hosting restaurants, bars and a botanical garden, The Magistry is still drawing on Hong Kong’s past in its framework. Its design is inspired by London restaurants, with tapestries, lamp fittings with gold accents, a spiral staircase and a semi-private dining balcony within the restaurant. Its botanical garden, though, really lets the plants do the talking, reminiscent of British heritage gardens.
Joyce Wang Studio, based in London and Hong Kong, spearheaded the design. “It’s been an honor to work on a site of such historic significance in my home city,” said founder Joyce Wang. “We are reigniting memories of the older generations and conjuring pride for the younger generations. The space now exudes importance – authentic to its former self as the pillar for social justice for Hong Kong. Personally, I can’t wait for untold stories to be shared across the dining table, bridging generations closer to one another.”
The Magistracy is still in the process of launching, but its first phase is now open to guests. More will be added in the coming months, including bars, private dining, a sports center and a sprawling wine cellar.