HONG KONG & SHANGHAI BANKING HEADQUARTERS Information Contributor: Tauheed Location: Hong Kong, China Architect: Norman Foster & Partners Structural Engineers: Ove Arup & Partners Engineers Completion:1985 Height:180 m (590 ft)
Urban context The Hong Kong & Shanghai Bank is located on one of the most splendid sites in Hong Kong's business centre and stands in a direct line with the Star Ferry Terminal. Between the bank and the harbour, there is a park and a multi-storey car park. The classical style of the existing law-court building (directly neighbouring the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank) offers the most striking contrast to the bank. The bank tower emphasises the importance of both the Chinese-British territory of Hong Kong and the company itself - the foremost bank in the Far East and Hong Kong's central bank - within the international financial world. As an institution and symbol, the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank expresses the confidence placed in the future of Hong Kong. The ground-floor access area to the bank is interesting in terms of urban context. a public space has been created by allowing the public to traverse the building. From lower level, escalators lead to the bank's enormous, internal atrium.
Structure The vertical loads are transferred by a total of eight columns of cantilever transfer structures In combination with hangers. Together with the diagonals and verticals providing reinforcement tension, they form the dominant features of the facade. Horizontal loads are absorbed by reinforcing storeys.
Circulation / Installations In designing this building, the aim was to create extensive unified areas and thus achieve transparency and maxi-mum flexibility. For this reason, nearly all the vertical structural elements, as well as the circulation and service shafts, are arranged on the building's external skins. The cores are located in the east and west facades. Vertical movement is provided by a combination of express lifts, with central escalators for local circulation. The form of the building reflects the circulation density, which decreases towards the top.
Facade Foster's magnificent building represents a new aesthetic, which no longer distinguishes between the science of engineering and the "art" of architecture. The facade design demonstrates how the structure itself can become ornamentation and the structural principle a stylistic device. In designing the building, Foster drew on the principles underlying suspension bridges, which make an internal supporting structure superfluous. Images:
view from north-east.
sectional perspective of structure
Contributor's comment We did a report on this building in level-3 term-2 as a part of high-rise-building analysis. Arc. Armaan Choudhury was our studio instructor. In the jury of the report, Arc. Noor-Ur-Rahman Khan asked me please say something conclusive, what is in the building that information we can get from anywhere you need not tell, but what is the thing in this building which touched you? I said exitedly, The urban plaza at the ground-floor! It's faulous! The urban plaza and the huge atrium have taken this building beyond any other typical highrise buildings. As Sir Norman Foster said himself: "...What are the short-comings of the high-rise office, which bristles in every business district from Dallas to Tokyo? First a complete absence of variety, inside and out; second, poor technical performance; and third, an almost complete indifference to the public, or semi-public domain at street level..."