Hong Kong and P&T Group - A Shared History : The Hong Kong Pavilion at the British Empire Exhibition 1924-1925

Jun 2019

Having built many of Hong Kong’s iconic buildings throughout its 150 years of history, including the Hong Kong Club, Jardine House and the former HSBC headquarters, P&T Group was invited to design the Hong Kong Pavilion at the British Empire Exhibition in Wembley, the United Kingdom in 1924 to 1925. With all British colonies participating, the exhibition showcased the culture of each colony under the British Empire, and strengthened bonds within the empire to stimulate trade.


Entrance to the Hong Kong pavilion built by P&T (Source:



Each pavilion was designed in the represented country’s architectural style; P&T Group was commissioned to capture the essence of Hong Kong in their design. In order to achieve this, they instructed a long, white-fronted building to be built with two entrances and pagoda-topped towers. A typical fifty-feet wide Chinese street, featuring shop pillars painted with Chinese characters and restaurant roofs showcasing illustrations of Chinese legends, was placed in the middle The huge success of the pavilion was described in  The Hong Kong Daily Press (24 May 1924), with the statement that “in no other section is there such a faithful and complete representation”.


Plan for the British Empire Exhibition (Source:



Being an international trade and shipping hub, Hong Kong positioned itself as the gateway to Southern China. Along the traditional Chinese street inside the Pavilion, colonies trade silk, toys, ivory carvings and other goods. This showcases Hong Kong’s offerings at the time to the rest of the Empire. Chinese restaurants and Hong Kong tea houses were set up to provide an intercultural and educational opportunity for visitors to experience Hong Kong culture. Chinese businessmen hosted meetings within the restaurants to improve business connections and establish lasting ties for Hong Kong. Through the unique design that facilitated cultural exchange, the exhibition raised Hong Kong’s standing internationally.

Panoramic view of the British Empire Exhibition (Source: