French Mission Building
Architectural Service Department (ArchSD)
GFA : 3202 sqm
Amenity: Community Hall (Chapel), Offices, Cafe (Jail cell)
Location: Central Hong Kong
The building is built on a podium due to the hilly nature of Government Hill. Originally a mansion called Johnston House, the building was altered in the 1870s and 1880s to a three-storey building. The present three-storey building opened in 1917 as the result of a major renovation, also described as an "extensive rebuilding", of the previous structure. The building is probably based on a previous structure near the site known as "Beaconsfield", but it is clad in red brick rather than an all white facade. It is constructed in granite and red bricks in Neo-Classical style, dating from the Edwardian period.
The building was declared a monument on September 14, 1989. It was decided in 2011 that it would be made available for adaptive reuse after the relocation of the Court of Final Appeal to the Old Supreme Court Building. It was then used successively by the Education Department, the Victoria District Court (1965–1980), the Supreme Court (1980–1983), and the Government Information Services (starting from 1987). It has been used as the Court of Final Appeal since the inception of the Court at the time of the transfer of sovereignty over Hong Kong, on 1 July 1997. I worked in Design 2 Architects as the lead consultant at the construction stage of the declared monument building in 2019 until completion.