Zaha Hadid Architects reveals design for skyscraper on world’s most expensive site

UK architecture studio Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled its design for a sinuous, glass, 36-storey skyscraper, which will be built in Hong Kong at 2 Murray Road on what is reportedly the world’s most expensive plot.

The 36-storey skyscraper in Hong Kong‘s central business district will be built alongside the Bank of China Tower by IM Pei, and in close proximity to the HSBC building by Foster + Partners.

It will replace a multistorey car park that was purchased by developer Henderson Land for HK$23.3 billion ($3 billion) in 2017, making it the world’s most expensive site according to numerous news outlets.

Zaha Hadid Architects‘ skyscraper will have a glass facade made from a series of curved segments that rise to form two sets of open-air balconies filled with trees.

Directly below the higher balcony, which is located around two-thirds of the way up the skyscraper, will be a planted sky garden. This space will also house a running track.

At the top of the skyscraper, an enclosed banqueting hall will have views across the city.

According to the studio, the building’s form was based on the shape of a bud from the Bauhinia plant, which was previously grown near the site and is the flower at the centre of the city’s flag

“The design reinterprets the structural forms and layering of a Bauhinia bud about to blossom,” said the studio.

“Known as the Hong Kong orchid tree, the Bauhinia x blakeana was first propagated in the city’s botanic gardens above the Murray Road site and its flowering bud features on Hong Kong’s flag.”

The main body of the skyscraper will be elevated above the ground and connected into the city’s network of raised pedestrian walkways, with a series of courtyards and gardens placed under the building.

“Echoing the organic forms of the natural world; the redevelopment connects with the adjacent public gardens and parks,” explained the studio.

“These tranquil outdoor areas flow into the generous communal spaces of the interior; the craftsmanship and precision of the curved glass facade enhancing this seamless connectivity between the building’s interiors and the surrounding gardens and city beyond.”

The skyscraper, which will be built with a high-tensile steel structure, has been designed to achieve a sustainability rating of LEED Platinum and the highest 3-Star rating in China’s Green Building Rating Program.

It will be clad in four-ply, double-laminated, double-curved insulated glass units and all floors will be naturally ventilated.

When it is complete, 2 Murray Road will be Zaha Hadid Architects’ second project in the city, along with the 78-metre-high Jockey Club Innovation Tower on the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus, which opened in 2014.

Founded by the late Zaha Hadid in 1980, Zaha Hadid Architects is now led by Patrik Schumacher. The studio has recently revealed designs for a metro station in Moscow, a stadium in China and a housing complex in Honduras.

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