Red Brick Walls (1930s)

  • Video Tour


  • Historic Information

Key Points on Conservation: Restoring the Red Bricks

When the site underwent restoration, we not only had to consider the age of these buildings, but it was also important that we understand the changes it underwent, and the importance of these changes to the site’s history. We also had to evaluate the ‘health’ of each building and possible new options for it, in order to decide whether to restore it back to its earliest appearance or to that of a later phase.

The buildings in the middle zone are different from that in the low zone with single red brick structure. The inner walls of the buildings under the canopy were originally red-brick surfaces, which were already covered with concrete and painted white during the hospital period.

Just like the buildings we see today, the façade was in fact first designed with red brick. When the site functioned as a hospital, the walls of the buildings by the two sides of the skylight atrium in the Middle Zone were built with red bricks too. When the site functioned as a hospital, the red brick walls were poured with concrete and painted white. In order to restore the façade to brick, conservation consultants investigated various methods to remove the concrete exterior. They had people remove it inch-by-inch manually, and then use machines clean off the remnants, lightly sanding the bricks over. They then desalinated the surface and painted the walls over with a clear protective chemical, and rebuilt the canopy to create a skylight atrium and prevent any damage to the red brick walls from harsh weather conditions.

We invested a lot of resources to recondition the brick façade, so only a section of the original red brick is exposed in the skylight atrium of the Middle Zone. This way, visitors can see the original material without any conditions damaging the building.


Manually chisel the concrete layer inch by inch. Then use machines to carefully polish the surface of the brick wall in order to clear the remaining concrete. (red circle marked the polished part).