The North Kowloon Magistracy (NKM) is one of the city's only surviving buildings built in the neoclassical architectural style—meaning that structure, form and proportion were valued over decorative features and other ornamental details.
Among the original building aspects left carefully preserved are the bronze-studded panel doors at the main entrance, the natural granite staircases with Grecian-motif balustrades, the main courtroom and an original detention cell.
Original detention cell
SCAD pledged to keep one detention cell and one courtroom in their original condition. This detention cell looks just as it did when it was first built in 1960, with a wooden bench for prisoners to sleep on and the iron grills still intact.
Most of the crimes trialed at the NKM were minor offenses; traffic convictions, littering, illegal hawking and juvenile cases. The maximum sentence handed down in the NKM was two years imprisonment, with serious cases typically transferred to another court.
Due to the mass influx of illegal Chinese immigrants into Hong Kong during the Cultural Revolution, the NKM also had the authority to grant permanent Hong Kong residency status.
Main stairwell / first floor landing
SCAD converted this space into an open lounge area for students, designed to promote the open exchange of ideas among students, professors and visitors.
SCAD turned this former juvenile court into a homework lab for students to complete their projects and assignments. The sign and door are both original.
General education classrooms
Most of the rooms on this floor now serve as general education classrooms, with coursework designed to provide a well-rounded education for undergraduate students. Classes include English, art history, speech and communication, math, anthropology, business management and entrepreneurship and many more.
Original courtroom (Courtroom No. 1)
As a part of the revitalization contract, SCAD agreed to preserve original components of Courtroom No. 1, including teak floors, wooden clerk and magistrate benches, raised dais, prisoner's dock, security bars and an iron gate.
SCAD also maintained the original doors, frames, molded wall and ceiling panels, and the staircase that leads from the cells directly into the courtroom.
During the renovation, SCAD installed Bose surround sound stereo equipment for presentations and blackout shades for displaying digital media work and now uses Courtroom No. 1 as a lecture space.
Green screen studio
Students enrolled in visual effects, animation, and motion media design programs use this state-of-the-art green screen studio. Students in these departments have access to track lighting and industry standard equipment, which allow them to realize their creative visions.