Jat Min Chuen, Sha Tin New Town
Completion: 1981 Architect: Wong & Ouyang Use: Public Housing
In response to the rapid population growth in 1970s, Sha Tin New Town was developed as one of the first 3 satellite towns and Jat Min Chuen is one of the first 4 public housing estates in Sha Tin which based largely on reclaimed land. , Developed by the Housing Society as a subsidized housing, it was considered a “luxurious” model for public housing developments at the time because of its high standard provisions such as swimming pool, bath tub, security gate etc. The housing complex consists of 3 blocks with the 32-storey blocks named the tallest building in Sha Tin when it was first completed in 1981. first completed in 1981.
Ping Shek Estate
Completion: 1973 Architect: Palmer and Turner Use: Public Housing
The second phase was completed in 1973 with Single Tower typology. The architecture is best known for its big central atrium for natural lighting and cross ventilation. Unlike the Twin Tower typology as in Wah Fu Estate, the lift cores of Ping Shek were put within the atrium, leaving a big blank wall on one side. Units are single-loaded on one side with communal balcony approach for access which is claimed to improve sense of neighbourhood and security as it encourage interactions and visual connection.
Completion: 1969 Architect: Public Works Department Use: Hotel (Original use: Office)
Formerly a government headquarter housing the most important bureaus, the Murray Building was one of the early skyscrapers in Hong Kong and was the tallest government building upon its completion in 1969. The iconic 45-degree recess of the windows not only has created dramatic light and shadow on the facade, but also earned the building a Certificate of Merit in Energy Efficient Building Award in 1994. As part of the “Conserving Central” initiative, it was subsequently conserved and revitalized into a chic 5-star hotel by Foster & Partners in 2018.
St. John’s Building Completion: 1983 Architect: Kwan Ng Wong & Associates Use: Office Primely located on the Garden Road and Cotton Tree Drive right opposite to the Murray, the St. John’s Building is a 21-storey office building in Central which also houses the lower terminus of the famous Peak Tram. The building has a distinctive design with windows on its facades and building floor plate chamfered as round corners. The windows were also cladded with reflective glass resulting in its futuristic appearance. The innovative design of the building has earned it the Hong Kong Institute of Architects Silver Medals in 1983.
HKCEC (Phase 1)
Completion: 1988 Architect: Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Associates Use: Mixed use
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC) has been the largest convention facilities of the city. The whole mixed-use complex include not only convention halls in the 7-storey podium, but also office, serviced apartment and hotel towers. Many important events were hosted there, from cultural activities like Art Basel and music concert to historical moment of Handover Ceremony of Hong Kong in 1997. When the first phase was completed in 1988, the facade facing Victoria Harbour was the biggest curtain wall system of its kind in the world.
Completion: 1972 Architect: Palmer and Turner Use: Office
Designed by Canadian-born Japanese Architect James Kinoshita of Palmer and Turner, the Jardine House (former Connaught Centre), was once the tallest skyscraper in Asia with its 173m height when it was completed in 1972. To make a lightweight building for fast construction, beam-column system was ruled out and instead stiff “tube in tube” structure with its facade “punched holes” as its signature round windows was designed. The timeless masterpiece has remained a remarkable icon of the Victoria Harbour waterfront for decades.
Completion: 1989 Architect: Architectural Services Department Use: Culture and Performance
The Cultural Centre was completed in 1989 in response to the growing demand for a world-class cultural and performing facility. The architecture came from two symbols: from above it is a pair of spreading wings whereas from eye level it resembles a big sail sitting next to Victoria Harbour. Apart from the controversy over the building form which was described by New York Times in 1990 as a “giant ski jump”, others criticized the windowless beige-tiled facade as wasting the beautiful harbour view. However, the building remained as a harbour-front icon and a top tourist spot today.
Sui Fai Factory Estate
Completion: 1982 Architect: Housing Authority Use: Industrial
Apart from subsidized housing, the government also developed subsidized industrial buildings to provide affordable manufacturing space. As part of the re-settlement plan a half century ago , the objective was to house those individual workshops and small factories in squatter areas which were affected by fire or land resumption. These buildings are witnesses of the public housing policy and manufacturing history of Hong Kong before they diminished in past decades. Today only 6 subsidized industrial estates remained, with some units converted to artist studios. The most significant feature of these factory estates is the stunning horizontality on facade created by colourful external corridors.
Hong Kong Coliseum
Completion: 1981 Architect: Architectural Services Department Use: Indoor Arena
The Hong Kong Coliseum (a.k.a. Hung Hom Coliseum) was opened in 1983 to provide an international-standard venue for indoor sports events. Despite the original sporting intent, the Coliseum has served more as a concert hall for pop singers who see performing on the stage as a pride and career goal. As the building was constructed on a railway station podium, multiple column supports were precluded. Instead an inverted pyramid was proposed with space-framed roof supported by 4 giant box columns at corners, giving a relatively column-free space.
Innovation Tower, PolyU
Completion: 2013 Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects with AGC Design Use: Education
Designed by Zaha Hadid who was the first woman architect to win the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize, the Innovation Tower is her first and only permanent work in Hong Kong and has her signature fluid character that is “generated through an intrinsic composition of its landscape, floor plates and louvers”. The design challenged the conventional building typology of tower and podium in Hong Kong and produced an seamless architectural icon. The tower houses lecture hall, classroom, studio, workshops and exhibition space for the School of Design.