5 Hong Kong Architectural Wonders that Will Make Your Jaw Drop
August 10, 2016 | BY Andrea Lo
Hong Kong is known for its skyscrapers and contemporary structures, so it’s no surprise that internationally renowned architects have made their mark here with dramatic developments. Take a gander at these modern architectural wonders next time you’re in their vicinity.
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Opus Hong Kong
Frank Gehry’s first residential development in Asia, the Opus Hong Kong, was commissioned by Swire Properties. Located on a site on Mid-Levels East owned by the property developer, which once served as home for its company executive, the Opus was completed in 2012. Featuring columns of enclosed glass curving up the 12-storey structure, the design was inspired by the forests that surround it, creating a visually striking addition to the hills. Twelve units occupy the Opus, one of which made history last year as the most expensive residential property sold in Asia.
Bank of China Tower
An instantly recognisable part of Hong Kong’s famous skyline, the Bank of China Tower is the work of legendary Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei. Completed in 1990, the building broke a number of records; for three years around its completion, it was the tallest in Asia. Standing at 315 metres high, the Bank of China Tower is also known for its sky-high masts, which both reach 367.4 metres. The prism-like exterior takes after the aesthetics of bamboo shoots, which symbolise prosperity in traditional Chinese culture.
The Hong Kong Design Institute
It is only appropriate that one of the leading design educational bodies of the city calls an avant-garde structure home. Developed by French firm Coldefy & Associés, Architectes Urbanistes in partnership with Hong Kong-based P&T Group, the Hong Kong Design Institute in Tseung Kwan O opened its doors in 2010. It features a box-like complex positioned seven storeys above ground level on two lattice-steel towers. The complex is accessible through an elevator on ground level, which also contains a sloped podium that houses events spaces, including four auditoriums.
The Jockey Club Innovation Tower
The late Iraqi-born British architect Zaha Hadid, often dubbed “the queen of the curve”, was behind the Jockey Club Innovation Tower at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Set against a backdrop of the university’s more conservatively designed structures, the 15-storey Innovation Tower stands out from it surroundings with its sleek, fluid form and parametric design. Completed in 2013, the building marked the architect’s first permanent building in the city and is aptly used as the home of the university’s School of Design.
This residential project was designed by Hong Kong-based architectural firm Aedas, which is also behind the Gramercy in Mid-Levels and the Forum at Exchange Square, to name a few. Located in Jardine’s Lookout, THR350 is a multi-storey private home with a glass curtain façade and an entrance made of timber, but most notably, the glass panels that contain the staircase are designed to look like ice cubes stacked on top of each other. Working with Aedas to develop THR350, the homeowner is said to have been inspired by a photo of a waterfall drizzling down stacked basalt organ pipes. Its cutting-edge silhouette stands out against the colonial low-rises of the neighbourhood.
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