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Grounds and Buildings

Taikoo Sugar Refinery was located at Quarry Bay, at the eastern end of Hong Kong Island, an area thitherto largely undeveloped except for granite mining. Though isolated by land from the rest of the island, the harbour provided easy local access by boat as well as deep water berthing for ocean ships to discharge raw sugar and load processed sugar. Wharfs remained a key feature of the Refinery notwithstanding several major reconstructions.

The Refinery premises increasingly dominated the landscape as construction continued in the 1890s. Besides the refinery proper, there were brick godowns and steel godowns, a coal yard, boiler houses, melting houses, workshops, office buildings and separate quarters for foreign and Chinese staff. There were also a sports ground and clubhouse. Overseeing the whole was the manager’s residence on Kornhill – named after the first refinery manager, Dr. Ferdinand Korn.

By 1893, Taikoo had built its first reservoir to ensure a steady supply of water to produce steam, which was essential in sugar refining. In time, it would have three reservoirs.

Another feature was the cable car that linked the main premises with the sanitarium on Mount Parker, which had been built to provide a refuge for refinery families from the insanitary conditions of most of Hong Kong.

In 1926, the entire plant was rebuilt. Taikoo also built an elementary school for employees’ children.

Severe damage during the Second World War left only the refinery building proper standing. By 1950, the entire Refinery had been rebuilt.

The new buildings included two six-storey reinforced concrete sugar refining buildings, a candy house, two four-storey reinforced concrete refined sugar godowns, a range of single storey raw sugar godowns, boiler house, power-house, workshops, stores godowns, factory buildings and sundry other buildings. An oil tank was added when it was decided to replace coal with oil for power generation.

Introduction Construction of Taikoo Sugar Refinery, 1882-1884 Grounds and Buildings, 1890s - 1900s
Grounds and Buildings, 1910s - 1940s Grounds and Buildings, 1950s - 1960s