Northcote Science Building, University of Hong Kong (HKU) [1941-c.1985] | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Northcote Science Building, University of Hong Kong (HKU) [1941-c.1985]

Current condition: 
Demolished / No longer exists
Date Place completed: 
c.1941-09-02 (Day is approximate)
Date Place demolished: 
c.1985-05-05 (Year, Month, Day are approximate)
Northcote Science Building
Northcote Science Building

The Northcote Science Building  at HKU was designed by John Potter, architect with Leigh and Orange.

It was opened - just before the Japanese invasion - by the retiring Governor, Sir Geoffry Northcote.

From the outset part of the building was intended to be used as a field hospital in the event of war and of course this eventuated.

Rumour has it that after the war, some staff said that parts of the building were haunted (as a result of something that happened in the hospital?) and they refused to work there. The building was apparently demolished in the 1980s - but surely this was for another reason? 

It was certainly thought suitable at the time:

At the opening ceremony Sir Geoffry said that he and Lady Northcote had “whole-hearted admiration at the way in which Mr Potter has made use of the peculiarities of the site in order to produce a building which is pleasing to the eye, restful to the mind and practical in plan. We congratulate him warmly.”

John Potter was killed in the defence of Hong Kong only three months later.

Photos that show this place



Demolished for widening Pokfulam Road, along with the other engineering buildings on that side of the road. In the evenings there in the 1960s there were lots of cockroaches but no ghosts (my book bindings suffered mightily). 'Minor' staff and their families lived on the back stairs until John Phillips became Professor of Zoology in early 1963.