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Historical Background

Old Victoria Barracks was one of the first British military compounds in Hong Kong. There were over thirty military buildings in the Barracks but most of them were demolished. The buildings which still exist –Roberts Block, Cassels Block, Montgomery Block, Rawlinson House and Wavell Block, together with the declared monument Flagstaff House – were used to serve as residences and dormitories. During the Japanese Occupation (1941-1945), the buildings were used by the Japanese. In 1979, Victoria Barracks was handed back to the Hong Kong Government, and part of it was converted into the Hong Kong Park.

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Located above Kennedy Road, Roberts Block was built in the early 1900s and was originally known as army Married Quarters “E Block”. It was named after the Second World War probably after Brigadier (later Major-General) G.P. Roberts. It was accorded as Grade 1 Historic Building in 2009.  From 1986 to 2013, Roberts Block was used by the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association as a hostel for recovered psychiatric patients.  In July 2018, The Development Bureau announced that the Christian Oi Hip Fellowship Limited and the Arts Hurb Asia Limited were awarded to revitalize Roberts Block to a creative arts and play therapy centre – Hong Kong Roberts Block Centre.  The Centre will conduct creative arts/play workshops and therapy activities, etc., and arrange guided tours to let the public know more about the history and architectural features of Roberts Block.

Architectural Merits

This block is three-storey high. The north elevation is in elegant Edwardian Classical Revival style with open verandahs on all three floors formed by red-brick square columns supporting a classical entablature and moulded cornice at each floor level. The spaces between the columns are filled with classical urn-shaped balustrades. The architectural features are painted white in contrast to the red brickwork. The original steel staircases and some half-glazed wooden doors and fanlights still exist.


Virtual Tour:

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