Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lost in Hong Kong

Today I went on a totally unplanned and unorganised trip to Hong Kong Island to find some iconic buildings around the city. I never really imagined this small journey to be such an awesome experience....

Had lunch in Mongkok..... then declided to MTR down to Admiral Station, because the closest landmark I could find on my (chinese) HK map was the Bank of China Tower (Has diagonal features going up the building). I managed to find my way out of the station to behold the building a block away from the MTR exit. The buildings in HK are so much more interesting than the stuff in Brisbane. The nightlights are spectacular. I realised (after seeing the IFC close up) that maybe buildings in HK are designed to be gazed specifically at night. The Bank of China Tower doesn't look as spectacular as it does at night, and the IFC looks quite plain and even ugly up close.

After the Bank of China Tower I wandered around a couple more buildings and through a few gardens to stumble across Richard Rogers' Hong Kong Shanghai Bank (HSBC) building. Built in the mid nineties.... and famous for its iconic 'clothes hanger' structural system expressed on the facade, employing columns in tension (instead of in compression) and hung from these 'clothes hanger' elements. Also, the famous undercroft at the ground floor, which we've seen many photoes of, did not dissapoint. The central atrium, even though I could not get up to actually see it, was an amazing sight.

Lastly was the IFC towers. The complex is made up of two towers, one being the tallest tower in the HK skies, and the other a miniature version of the bigger one. This tower has been made famous in Batman: The Dark Knight, where Batman its capturing Lao. The crown of the towers is a claw-like feature which sticks up into the sky. Personally, I like the smaller tower up close. It looks a lot nicer and you can actually see the claw feature from close up, unlike its bigger neighbour.

Anyway, rambled on long enough.... Will talk more about other stuff later :)

No comments: