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Background Information on Maryknoll Convent School
at 130 Waterloo Road, Kowloon
- Historic Value
- Maryknoll plays an important role in the education development in Hong Kong. It is noteworthy for turning out successive generations of career women who excel themselves in all walks of life. There have been many exemplary old girls who fill responsible positions in both the public and private sectors.
- The School is closely associated with significant historical phases, events and activities, witnessing the tremendous changes in Hong Kong society for the most part of the twentieth century. Apart from being an eminent school playing a vital role in Hong Kong's educational development, it was once used as a military hospital during the Second World War.
- Maryknoll Convent School is important as an example of the major and early presence of the missionaries who came from abroad to preach and to serve. The School has a significance with regard to the role of Hong Kong as a centre of cultural exchange, as it used to be a place for the transmission of English education and religious faith to the local Chinese.
- Architectural Value
- The School has evolved over a period of many years. It consists of four different parts. The oldest part is the Primary Section, which was built in 1937. The Convent right next to it was completed in 1953. The Old Wing and New Wing of the Secondary Section were built in 1960 and 1994 respectively.
- The 1937-built school building adopts the medieval monastery or collegiate layout of an open peristyle courtyard surrounded by cloisters. The building features many architectural motifs from different styles including Art Deco, Romanesque, Neo-Georgian and Gothic Revival.
- The 1937-built school building suffers from no notable changes or alterations such that its cultural significance has remained unaltered. Old style furnishings and flooring can still be found inside and they are still in very good condition. The primary school complex is one of the finest examples demonstrating how old and new buildings can be combined without disturbing its original harmony. The Secondary Section was built 23 years later than the Primary Section, but it also keeps the style and quality of the Primary Section.
- A rich architectural hybrid style sometimes called free neo-Tudor including Art Deco, Romanesque, Neo-Georgian and Gothic Revival features are demonstrated in the 1937-built school building. Such a combination of styles is highly rare and interesting among school architecture in Hong Kong. It is hard to find another similar example in Hong Kong.
- Maryknoll Convent School has some importance with the surrounding when building type and uses are considered. Although all these surrounding buildings, mainly schools and residential buildings ranging from two to seven-storey high, are not in the same architectural style as Maryknoll Convent School's, the facade colour of some of them is similar to that of the school complex.
- The immediate environs of the School have been radically changed since 1937. Despite radical high-rise developments all around it, the school building is still being used for its original purpose, i.e. a school.
- The setting of Maryknoll Convent School with its impressive gardens and landscaping contributes to the 'garden city' image of Kowloon Tong and the genius loci (i.e. 'the spirit of the place') of the locality.
- Social Value
Centrally located in the urban core of Kowloon, Maryknoll Convent School is a towered landmark in the district that has stood tall and proud to this day.
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