A Vibrant Community Space for All to Encourage Co-creation and Collaboration
"Quarryside", a new community space in Quarry Bay, was officially launched today. Quarryside makes gainful use of a vacant government site and will provide a new venue for the benefit of the wider community.
Supported by the “Funding Scheme to Support the Use of Vacant Government Sites by Non-government Organisations” of the Development Bureau of the HKSAR Government, the project has transformed vacant government land into a community space that offer diverse experiences to promote a creative, healthy and sustainable lifestyle.
Quarryside is operated by St. James’ Settlement and sponsored by the Swire Group Charitable Trust (Swire Trust). Swire Properties, as the Supporting Partner of the project, provides consultancy support for the design, construction and operation of the community space. The project is a demonstration of the collective effort of the Government, NGOs and the private sector for the betterment of the community.
To celebrate the opening of Quarryside, an Opening Ceremony was held today and was attended by approximately 100 representatives from the Government, social welfare, as well as arts and culture sectors. Officiating Guests included Ms. Bernadette Linn, JP, Secretary for Development, Mr. Vincent Ng, SBS, JP, Chairman of Harbourfront Commission, Mr. Simon Chan, JP, District Officer (Eastern), Mr. Brian Li, JP, Vice Chairman of St. James’ Settlement’s Executive Committee, Ms. Mabelle Ma, Director, Development and Valuations of Swire Properties, and Ms. Tina Chan, Group Head of Philanthropy of John Swire & Sons (H.K.) Ltd.
The opening ceremony featured handpicked performances to demonstrate the creativity of the community, including a brass quintet by the outstanding musicians from the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, a site-specific dance video by the Hong Kong Youth Arts Foundation, and a modern drum performance by the Gekko Taiko Centre.
“Quarryside demonstrated a concerted effort amongst Government, NGO and the private sector. We are dedicated to being a community leisure space for all, incubating socially innovative ideas and fostering co-creation and collaboration with our community members. We are thankful to have great support from the Development Bureau, Harbourfront Commission, Eastern District Office, Swire Trust and Swire Properties, on the co-creation of this community space project,” said Brian Li, Vice Chairman of St. James’ Settlement’s Executive Committee.
The Secretary for Development Ms Bernadette Linn said that Quarryside is a good example showcasing a cross-sector collaboration through the Government, NGOs and the private sector. “In recent years, we are actively promoting the harbourfront development and hope that more harbourfront space can be fully utilised and enhanced for public use and enjoyment.” Ms Linn appreciated for the concerted efforts and contributions by different parties including St. James’ Settlement, Swire Trust and the government departments; and she encouraged the public to enjoy this new community space.
The Swire Trust has provided HK$15 million towards the cost of developing and operating Quarryside, with the ambition to drive positive change within the community. "The TrustTomorrow initiative is our commitment to the long-term development of the communities in which we operate. We are very pleased to be able to participate in the meaningful project as it will become a home for community groups to stage their events and create long-term benefits for the wider community,” said Patrick Healy, Chairman of the Swire Group Philanthropy Council.
Tim Blackburn, Chief Executive of Swire Properties, said, "For over 50 years, Swire Properties has called Quarry Bay home and has developed its business(es) in the Eastern District. We’re delighted to give back to the community in such a meaningful way through the ‘Quarryside’ project. Looking ahead, we hope to share our rich placemaking experience and help make this space a vibrant leisure ‘destination’ that will bring together and strengthen local communities through shared values.”
“The Harbourfront Commission has been endeavouring to bring about new harbourfront experiences to the public. Thanks to the funding scheme of the Development Bureau, St. James’ Settlement and the Swire Group Charitable Trust had been able to make good use of this vacant site and transform it into a new harbourfront community space. ‘Quarryside’ provides opportunities for the public to interact and relax in the harbourfront and serves as a venue for creative and cultural activities,” said Vincent Ng, SBS, JP, Chairman of Harbourfront Commission.
Located at Hoi Shin Lane and spanning over 3,700 sqm, Quarryside will kick off trial operations in July 2023 and gradually open to the general public. Featuring multi-functional and diverse event spaces, these include: the Dockyard Theatre – open 24 hours for public enjoyment and suitable for performances; Workshop Space – artists and creators can showcase their works and conduct workshops to engage the public; Community Kitchen – built for cooking classes and tasting workshops which foster social interaction and relationships through food; Indoor Function Rooms – which can be inter-connected to create one large event space for different needs; and an open lawn and pet-friendly facilities are also available as a green leisure space for the public to visit with their pets.
Quarryside will organise and host a wide range of creativity-led activities covering the areas of health and wellness, placemaking and sustainable living:
- Creative Health: to curate a wide variety of arts and cultural activities that promote health and wellness such as multi-sensory movement classes for families, silent disco and yoga classes;
- Creative Placemaking: to explore the vibrant and rich culture of the Eastern District community through community exhibitions and guided tours;
- Creative Sustainability: to promote sustainability in our daily lives through regular upcycling workshops.
Echoing the district’s history and culture, the architectural design of the Pavilion and open spaces at Quarryside are inspired by Quarry Bay’s industrial past – the sugar refinery and the Taikoo dockyard. The sloping roof at the rear of the Pavilion, where the large function rooms are housed, resembles the tiled roof of the historical sugar refinery, while the gradually flattened portion of the roof at the centre of the Pavilion resembles the historical pier; and the amphitheatre at the front of the Pavilion resembles the historical dockyard.
For further details, please refer to Quarryside website at https://quarryside.hk/.