Davies, Brooke & Gran
Argyle Street and Waterloo Road, Kowloon
The CLP Clock Tower Building was designed by the Shanghai-based architectural firm Davies, Brooke & Gran and built by the Company in 1940. It consists of a three-storey longitudinal block built on a granite platform at the junction of Argyle Street and Waterloo Road in Kowloon. The original complex consisted of three separate blocks: a central section featuring a prominent clock tower and two adjacent residential blocks. The three blocks were eventually linked together sometime in the 1950s.
The Clock Tower Building is oriented towards the street. The building’s relatively unadorned main facade features a simple geometrical pattern emblematic of Art Deco architecture, a stylistic predecessor to the Modern Movement, though its horizontal band of windows are broadly suggestive of one of the key formal identifying features of mid-20th century modern architecture. Three bays of windows stretch across the building’s two flanking wings on all three floors, creating a sense of visual cohesion while accentuating the clock tower’s verticality. A series of shallow overhangs help to screen the building’s interior from the sun. The tower itself is capped with four stepped tiers separated by glass. The building’s progressive architectural style reflects both the cosmopolitan nature of the architectural firm responsible for the design and the modern architectural influences at work in Hong Kong at the time.
– Tony Lam