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Landmark smart building to be built on site of former Hong Kong airport

Facilities include Hong Kong’s first ever automatic bicycle parking bay to encourage green mobility, solar radiation protection, sky farming and automated smart waste sorting and storage.

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Airside merges a 200m tower with a base in one continuous form. ©Snøhetta/Brick Visual
Airside merges a 200m tower with a base in one continuous form. ©Snøhetta/Brick Visual

Snøhetta has designed a landmark mixed-use building in the centre of Hong Kong’s former Kai Tak airport with views over the Victoria Harbour and Kai Tak River. It is currently under construction and is expected to be completed in 2022.

 

The building is situated at a unique and rapidly transforming location in central Hong Kong. The Kai Tak Airport was formerly the international airport of Hong Kong from 1925 until 1998, after which it was closed and replaced by a new and larger one at Chek Lap Kok, 30km to the west.

 

CBD 2.0 focal point

 

With the recent developments in the area, the site is transforming into a new central business district (CBD 2.0), a focal point of urban development and commerce.

 

The 176,000sqm building merges a 200m tower with a base in one continuous form and will serve as the main gateway to the Kai Tak development in Hong Kong, while offering visitors access to public spaces through a series of exterior plazas and rooftop gardens. It is located on top of the Kai Tak metro station and in proximity to other public transport interchanges.

 

Snøhetta explained that Airside advocates a sustainable green lifestyle supported by unique facilities. These include Hong Kong’s first ever automatic bicycle parking bay to encourage green mobility, use of local materials, sky farming, automated smart waste sorting and storage, natural ventilation, daylight enhancement, solar radiation protection, focus on thermal comfort, water-saving and rainwater management.

“We are proud to be working on an urban project of this scale with such a strong determination to offer an inviting space for the people of Hong Kong”

Commissioned by the Nan Fung Group, it is designed to target the highest sustainability ratings including LEED platinum. Its flexible design allows for tenants to efficiently adapt the building to future needs, aiming to be a pleasant place for people to stay and work in throughout the building’s lifespan.

Visitors access public spaces through a series of exterior plazas. ©Snøhetta/Brick Visual
Visitors access public spaces through a series of exterior plazas. ©Snøhetta/Brick Visual
Urban landscapes extend into the city's commercial buildings. ©Snøhetta/Brick Visual
Urban landscapes extend into the city's commercial buildings. ©Snøhetta/Brick Visual

The building marks Snøhetta’s first built project in Hong Kong. It said a gently curving facade composed of fluted glass is evocative of the textile that anchored Nan Fung Group’s historic industry, and is present throughout the project from the façade to the interior and landscape design.

 

The textile pattern can also be read as a nod to the development of both the Nan Fung Group and the city of Hong Kong as a whole, as they both have experienced a transformation in focus from textile manufacturing and industry to real estate development, finance and tech.

“As Snøhetta’s first built project in Hong Kong, we hope that this building will serve as a place for both commercial activities and recreation for many years to come”

As one of the most densely populated cities in the world, Hong Kong’s commercial spaces are typically designed to have the urban landscape extend into its buildings. To support the thousands of people that flow through the Kai Tak metro station on a daily basis, the building’s retail space at the base is designed to accommodate this intense pedestrian traffic.

 

In order to achieve this, the continuous building mass is composed of five volumes that step up from the Kai Tak River and culminates in the tower. The building’s unique shape creates a series of human-scale urban spaces at grade, and rooftop gardens which have views of the Victoria Harbour and the Kai Tak park.

Airside is located in a rapidly transforming location. ©Snøhetta/Brick Visual
Airside is located in a rapidly transforming location. ©Snøhetta/Brick Visual
At the heart of the building is a retail atrium filled with natural light. ©Snøhetta/Brick Visual
At the heart of the building is a retail atrium filled with natural light. ©Snøhetta/Brick Visual

The building further offers visitors access to public spaces and green gardens through a series of exterior plazas and rooftop gardens suited for urban farming, restaurants, events and recreation. At the heart of the building is a retail atrium of almost 66,000sqm filled with natural light. This central atrium space culminates in a rooftop garden, above which a tower tops out at 200m containing more than 110.000sqm of grade A office space, retail spaces, as well as provisions for a hotel.

 

“We are proud to be working on an urban project of this scale with such a strong determination to offer an inviting space for the people of Hong Kong,” said Snøhetta managing partner, Robert Greenwood. “As Snøhetta’s first built project in Hong Kong, we hope that this building will serve as a place for both commercial activities and recreation for many years to come.”

 

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