Completed in 1972, Jardine House was the tallest in Asia, built on reclaimed land under the agreement that no other building would obstruct its views. With 52 floors, it was constructed with a metal frame and a curtain wall and round windows – a design which earned it the nickname “House of a Thousand Arseholes.”…
Below is the Bank of China Tower under construction in the 90s… Click here to view the original Bank of China building being built in the 50s.
With a belated opening in 1990, the (currently) fourth tallest skyscraper in HK was constructed on a site sold by the government for “only HK$1 billion” in 1982. It was the tallest building in Asia for two years and a small, little-known observation deck on the 43rd floor is open to the public. Its sharp edges and ‘X’ shapes are controversial amongst followers of Feng Shui, as are its two antennas, which remind locals of funeral incense.
Standard Chartered Bank Building under construction in 1988…
Somewhat unloved in the great shadow of neighbouring HSBC, this tower rises 42 floors and 185 metres in height. The building was completed in 1990 after the bank won a lease on the land from the government (a lease good until 2854 (999 years)!)…
Completed in 1985, this fourth generation ‘HSBC Main Building’ was the most expensive building in the world at the time. The project cost roughly HK$5.2 billion and features no internal supporting structure…
It uses natural sunlight as a major source of lighting, with giant mirrors reflecting light into the atrium down into the plaza. Sea water is used as air-con coolant and external façades are used to block direct sunlight and reduce heat gain.
Power, telecommunication and air-con systems lie under lightweight movable flooring panels for easy adjustment. The building has good Feng Shui, as it has an unblocked view of the harbour.
Hong Kong’s ‘occupy’ movement claimed the ‘privately managed public area’ under the building as a camp site for several months. They were evicted in late 2012.
The IFC2 features 88 storeys and 22 high-ceiling trading floors – both extremely auspicious in Chinese Culture. The larger Two International Finance Centre was completed in 2003, topped out at 415-metres. ‘Tabboo floors’ such as 14 and 24 are omitted. The HK Monetary Authority occupied four floors in 2001 and is also home to double-decker elevators…
The Hopewell Centre was completed in 1980, surpassing Jardine House as HK’s tallest building at the time. The shot below is from around 1977-78. With a circular layout, it has a revolving restaurant on the 62nd floor with a scenic view of the harbour and city. Occasionally, personal messages are displayed on its neon exterior at night, such as “Will you marry me?”.
Opened on 14 November 1967, Lion Rock Tunnel is a twin-bored toll road connecting Kowloon to the New Territories. Renovation on the ageing tunnel began in 2008 with around 88,000 vehicles using it every day. The photo below, from 1978, is of the second 1.41km tunnel, which opened in the same year to link up the new town of Sha Tin…
The most recent large-scale construction most of us will recall is that of the ICC in Kowloon. Currently the tallest in HK, and home to the world’s highest hotel, it would have been taller but was scaled back due to regulations that prevented buildings from being taller than the surrounding mountains.
Construction was completed in phases from 2007 to 2010. Six workers died in 2009 after an elevator shaft accident.
And finally, one of HK’s latest unveilings. The mind-bending 76-metre high Innovation Tower at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. It spent much of its life under construction behind green netting…
The architects say the design “dissolves the classic typology of the tower and the podium into a seamless piece”. It opened last year providing 12,00 square metres of space for 1,500 students.
Related articles on the blog…
Blog posts charting Hong Kong’s colourful past…
- 1000+ ‘Before and After’ Photos of Old & New Hong Kong.
- Cool Vintage Hong Kong Tourism Posters.
- Execution of Namoa Pirates in Kowloon, 1891.
- Hedda Morrison’s Hong Kong: Photos from 1942, Beautifully Restored
- HK’s Boom Years: The Best of Fan Ho.
- Mainland Refugees Fleeing Famine Rejected by HK.
- Margaret Thatcher in Hong Kong.
- More Vintage Photos of Old Hong Kong.
- Newly Unearthed Photos of 1950s Hong Kong.
- Pictures of Hong Kong in 1972.
- Rare Shots from Inside the Old Kowloon Walled City.
- Shing Mun Redoubt, HK’s Secret WWII Tunnels.
- Street Scenes in Dreamy Colour 1954-2004.
- The ‘Great Chinese Takeaway’ – the 1997 Handover.
- The 1958 Hong Kong Cha Cha Championship Winner (Bruce Lee).
- The 1967 Hong Kong Riots.
- The Bombing of Hong Kong by the U.S. 14th Air Force.
- The Day a Cargo Ship Washed up on Cheung Chau Beach.
- The Hakka Walled Village of Tsang Tai Uk, Sha Tin.
- The Iconic ‘Two Girls’ Kwong Sang Hong Cosmetics Brand
- The Luxury British Liner at the Bottom of Victoria Harbour.
- Unseen Royal Geographic Photos.
- When the MTR Was New.
Pictorial histories of local landmarks and events…
- A Brief Visual History: HK Police Vehicles & Uniforms.
- A Brief Visual History: HK’s Old Airport, Kai Tak.
- A Brief Visual History: Kowloon Walled City.
- A Brief Visual History: The Evolution of the Hong Kong Skyline.
- A Brief Visual History: The Peak Tram.
- A Brief Visual History: Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower.
- A Brief Visual History: Yau Ma Tei Theatre.
Blog posts celebrating and critiquing development in the City of Lights…
- 3 Future Maps of the MTR.
- A Luxury Treehouse for Hong Kong.
- A Peek Inside the New LEGCO Building.
- Awesome 3D Maps of the Hong Kong Overground.
- Construct Your Own Paper ‘Pop-Up’ Hong Kong.
- Cool (and accurate!) 3D ‘Sim-City’-Style Map of Hong Kong.
- Cool Photos of Hong Kong in Miniature.
- Diagrams of Hong Kong’s Skyscrapers in Height Order.
- Edwin Lee’s Hong Kong Timelapse.
- Evolution of the Hong Kong Skyline – a Visual History.
- Hong Kong 2013 vs. Fritz Lang’s 1927 Masterpiece ‘Metropolis’.
- How to Tell the Time from the HK Skyline.
- Kowloon Walled City Recreated in Japan: Pictures.
- Michael Wolf’s ‘Architecture of Density’.
- Michael Wolf’s Hong Kong Cornerhouses.
- Preview of HK Kowloon XRL Station.
- Six Spectacular Hong Kong Time Lapse Videos.
- The Birth of the MTR (Documentary).
- The Tiny HK Apartment With 24 Rooms in 1.
- When the MTR Was New.