Architectural Office, Public Works Department
152 Sai Yee Street, Prince Edward, Kowloon
The Queen Elizabeth School is the first English-Chinese co-educational secondary school founded by the Hong Kong Government. A plan for the integrated educational program was first devised in 1953 following the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. The school was initiated by the Hong Kong Government in an effort to further integrate Chinese and British subject matter, thereby reinforcing what were seen as more cosmopolitan curricular standards for the Chinese population. In doing so, the Government hoped to groom talented Chinese youth for future administrative service within the colony’s modern, postwar colonial bureaucracy.
The school initially operated out of space provided on the King’s College campus. The new Queen Elizabeth School facility was eventually opened in Mong Kok in October 1955. The building’s efficient use of materials, asymmetrical formal layout, and rational spatial composition are all hallmarks of mid-20th century modern architecture. Each of these elements helped to distinguish the school’s radical new curriculum from Hong Kong’s existing educational program at the time. A series of recessed bays and projecting columns convey a sense of structural rationalism while offering some protection from the sun. Despite its size, a combination of horizontal window bands and simple window grids also help to aesthetically link the building elements together. Contrasting colors have been used to help soften the building’s otherwise massive volume.
– Cole Roskam