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New Landmark Development by ZHA Transforms West Kowloon

Sustainable Design with Top Environmental Ratings by Zaha Hadid Architects

Courtesy of ZHA-New Landmark Development by ZHA Transforms West Kowloon

A groundbreaking 3.2 million sq. ft. development has emerged above Hong Kong’s High Speed Rail West Kowloon Terminus, designed by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA). This ambitious project forges vibrant connections between established and emerging neighborhoods through an extensive network of public gardens and landscaped plazas. Integrating seamlessly with the station and its rooftop park, the development features top-tier civic, office, and retail spaces, setting new standards in urban design and functionality.

Courtesy of ZHA
Courtesy of ZHA

Strategically positioned above the operational West Kowloon Station, this development serves as Hong Kong’s only station on the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link. The terminus is a significant gateway between Hong Kong and mainland China, emphasizing the project’s role in enhancing cross-border connectivity. Its proximity to the Kowloon and Austin stations of Hong Kong’s MTR metro network further underscores its importance in the city’s transportation infrastructure.

The new business district integrates with the 1.5 km landscaped pedestrian West Kowloon Parkway, providing direct access to the harborside and parks of the West Kowloon Cultural District. Almost 100,000 sq. ft. of garden terraces, plazas, and atriums with shopping and dining facilities span the lower five levels of the development. The design includes two pairs of interconnected office towers framing a large central plaza, featuring a sculptural pavilion with panoramic lifts, and numerous sheltered outdoor spaces for relaxation, recreation, and public events.

Courtesy of ZHA
Courtesy of ZHA

The development’s composition maximizes outdoor public space, enhancing natural ventilation and preventing the towers from overlooking each other. This configuration respects the ridgeline of Kowloon’s mountains to the north, adhering to height restrictions that preserve mountain views from Hong Kong Island. The towers offer 2.6 million sq. ft. of Grade A workspace, adaptable to current and future work configurations, with floor-to-ceiling heights of at least 3m, panoramic views, and access to planted outdoor terraces on every floor.

Courtesy of ZHA

Each tower is divided into a series of interconnected ‘petals’ with varying orientations and heights, creating a dynamic silhouette on the West Kowloon skyline. The towers taper inward at the top, reducing perceived volume, while vertical shading pleats extend over each rooftop, creating ‘halos’ that shelter roof terraces and sky gardens. The lower levels also taper inward, increasing outdoor space and encouraging pedestrian circulation and airflow.

Courtesy of ZHA
Courtesy of ZHA

Achieving an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating, as well as the highest ratings of LEED, WELL, and HK BEAM Plus pre-certification, the development incorporates high-performance façades with low thermal transfer values and solar shading fins. Photovoltaic panels integrated at roof level and within the façade reduce energy demand from the city’s electricity grid. A centralized plant of high-efficiency HVAC systems combined with seawater cooling, heat recovery, and a smart building management system ensures high standards of comfort and air quality while significantly reducing energy consumption. Upon completion, global wealth manager UBS will consolidate their Hong Kong operations within one of the towers, underscoring the development’s prestige and strategic importance.

Client: Max Century (HK) Ltd and Century Opal Ltd
Project Manager: Sun Hung Kai Properties Limited (SHKP)
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA)
ZHA Design: Patrik Schumacher
ZHA Director: Chris Lepine
ZHA Project Directors: Ed Gaskin, Bianca Cheung, Oliver Bray
ZHA Project Associate: Inês Fontoura
ZHA Project Leads: Michael Cheung, Kelvin Ma, Ganesh Nimmala, Theodor Wender, Adrian Yiu
ZHA Project Team: Karthikeyan Arunachalam, Anthony Awanis, Sam Butler, Gerry Cruz, Steven Chung, Kaloyan Erevinov, Thomas Frings, Brandon Gehrke, Zachariah Hong, Leo Liu, Tom Liu, Maria-Christina Manousaki, Pray Mathur, Anastasiia Metelskaia, Irena Predalic, Haseef Rafiei,  Dhruval Shah, Hunter Sims, Vincent Yeung
ZHA Competition Directors: Chris Lepine, Sara Klomps
ZHA Competition Project Director: Ed Gaskin, Bianca Cheung
ZHA Competition Associate: Oliver Bray, Gerhild Orthacker
ZHA Competition Team: Fernando Alvarenga, Thomas Bagnoli, Niran Buyukkoz, James (Chun-Yen) Chen, Michael Cheung, Martin Gsandtner, Will (Han Hsun) Hsieh, Berkin Islam, Tiffany Lee, Cheryl Lim, Miroslav Naskov, Ganesh Nimmala, Irena Predalic

Consultants
Executive Architect: Wong & Ouyang (HK)
Structural Engineers: Arup Group
Quantity Surveyor: Rider Levett Bucknall
Cost Consultant: Rider Levett Bucknall
Environmental Consultant: Ramboll Hong Kong 
Façade Engineering: Hiersemenzel & Associates
M&E Engineering: Sun Hung Kai Architects & Engineers Limited and AECOM
Transport Consultant: MVA Asia
Fire Engineer: AECOM
Landscape Consultant (Preplanning): Gillespies
Landscape Consultant (Ongoing): Urbis 
Lighting Design: Office for Visual Interaction (OVI)  & Iconik 
Acoustic Consultant: Westwood Hong & Associates 
Sustainability: Arup Group

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