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Chicago Booth School of Business Eyes Hong Kong’s Mount Davis for Asia Executive MBA Hub

booth mt davis The University of Chicago Booth School of Business hopes to renovate Hong Kong’s historic Mount Davis site, once an artillery base, into a new intellectual hub to serve as home to the school’s Executive MBA Program in Asia, the school announced recently.

“The center will allow us to engage even more effectively with the business and academic communities in Hong Kong,” Chicago Booth Dean Sunil Kumar said in a statement. “It will be a testament to our lasting commitment to educating leaders in the region.”

Serving initially as a battery in the 1930s, Mount Davis became a mess hall and clubhouse for British officers after World War II and later a government detention center. Chicago Booth’s plans would involve adaptive reuse of some of the original structure and key architectural elements, such as fireplaces and arches, as proscribed by local conservation management guidelines. “The school intends to preserve the history of the site,” Gavin Tun, director of project management for Booth and the University of Chicago, said in a statement.

But new will certainly meet old if the plans, currently in approval stage, move forward. They call for a three-story, ribbon-shaped building to serve as the centerpiece of the new executive MBA facility, suspended above the existing historical elements. The waving design of the building is intended to help it blend into surrounding hillside contours, and a viewing deck would let people enjoy both sunsets and seascapes, according to Francis Yan Mang-yan, managing director of the Hong Kong office of Bing Thom Architects, the architect for the construction and renovation project. The building itself will be divided into classrooms, meeting rooms and lounges.

The building designs also call for walking trails within the site, which would remain open to the public and connect to a public trail system. There are also discussions underway to create a Heritage Interpretive Center, which the public could visit during designated hours.

Building plans were submitted in January, and Town Planning approval is slated for June 2015. Pending approval and subsequent land grant execution, construction could start in August 2016, with occupancy anticipated for August 2018.

Learn more about Chicago Booth’s plan for a Hong Kong home for its Executive MBA Program in Asia.