Maryknoll House

Stanley, Hong Kong Island

A previous Section 12A rezoning application was partially agreed in 2019, where the Applicant requested a rezoning of the site from Government, Institution or Community (G/IC) use to “Other Specified Uses” annotated “Residential Development with Historic Building Preserved”. In May 2021 the zoning restrictions were confirmed, and the Approved Stanley OZP (No.S/H19/14) was Gazetted under Section 9(1)(a).

 

This was a Section 16 application for a minor relaxation of the building height on a portion of the application site. The client, New Season Global Limited, intended to preserve the Maryknoll House building whilst integrating contemporary and functional architecture by renowned international experts in heritage conservation. The application was submitted in the form of a preservation-cum-development project for the Grade 1 Historic Building. The application was approved with conditions in December 2021.

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The scheme aims to achieve the value as permitted under the lease and zoning through high value developments, compatible with the conservation of Maryknoll House and the neighbourhood. It involves 3 residential buildings with one being the renovated Maryknoll House. Most of the architectural heritage with some to high significance are preserved and adaptively reused, including the Library, Chapel, staircases and the external façade. Experts in conservation and adaptive reuse of heritage buildings were appointed, including renowned international architect Jean Francois Milou of studioMilou and Conservation Specialist Prof. Simon Thurley.

Achievements:

  1. An ambitious adaptive reuse project gave the Maryknoll building a new sustainable life and preserved both the historical and architectural significance elements to an extent that is practicable.

  2. The project meets the Government’s Heritage Conservation Policy of revitalizing appropriate historical and heritage buildings for the benefit and enjoyment of the future generations.

  3. Improved public appreciation and enjoyment of Maryknoll House.

  4. This preservation-cum-development project is a success case that demonstrates to these public visitors and general public, the merits of adapting and reusing of heritage buildings in the area.

  5. Minor relaxation of building height from 64mPD to 67.7mPD was approved for the western extension of a 1-storey building.

History of the Maryknoll House:

Maryknoll House was built in May 1935 by the Catholic Foreign Missionary Society of America (CFMSA) who were later known as “the Maryknolls”. Upon the completion of Maryknoll House in 1935, the House served as a rest home from the mission areas of South China. It had also been a language school for new missioners who were going to preach in China. In 1941, the House was used by the British in preparation for the battle against the Japanese military. As the Japanese gradually approached Hong Kong Island, Maryknoll House became a refuge for many Chinese refugees. The end of the war in saw the Maryknollers return, where post-war repair works were completed in 1946. It resumed as a House and retreat for the missioners. In recent years the use for the building diminished due to ease of travelling back to the U.S. for the missioners, and subsequently the decision was made in 2016 to sell Maryknoll House.