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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.

Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters by Foster + Partners

August 11th, 2011 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Foster + Partners

Conceived during a sensitive period in the former colony’s history, the brief for the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters was a statement of confidence: to create ‘the best bank building in the world’. Through a process of questioning and challenging − including the involvement of a feng shui geomancer − the project addressed the nature of banking in Hong Kong and how it should be expressed in built form. In doing so it virtually reinvented the office tower.

Image Courtesy Ian Lambot

  • Architects: Foster + Partners
  • Project: Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters
  • Location: Hongkong and Shanghai
  • Client: Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation
  • Area (Gross): 99,000m²
  • Area (Net): 79,200m²
  • Height: 183m

Image Courtesy Ian Lambot

  • No. of storeys: 44
  • Building Capacity: 8,800
  • Civil & Structural Engineers: Ove Arup & Partners
  • Mechanical & Electrical Engineers: Roger Preston & Partners
  • Quantity Surveyors: Levett & Bailey, Northcroft Neighbour & Nicholson
  • Lighting: Claude and Danielle Engle Lighting
  • Acoustics: Tim Smith Acoustics
  • Landscaping: Technical Landscapes Ltd

Image Courtesy Ian Lambot

  • Planning: Quickborner Team
  • Movement Systems: Jolyon Drury Consultancy
  • Glazing: Corning Glass
  • Maintenance Systems: Humberside Technical Services
  • Project Coordinator: R J Mead & Company
  • Management Contractor: John Lok/Wimpey Joint Venture
  • Structural Steelwork: British Steel Corporation/Dorman Long JV
  • Cladding and curtain walling: Cupples Products Division

Image Courtesy Ian Lambot

  • Project Team: Lucy Annan, Joanlin Au, Peter Basmajian, Arthur Branthwaite, Loren Butt, Tony Chan, C K Chau, Lily Cheung, Chubby Chhabra, Geoffrey Clark, Chris Clarke, Ian Davidson, Spencer de Grey, Suzanne Dewar, Roy Fleetwood, Norman Foster, Wendy Foster, Timothy Gale, Howard Gilby, Mary Gilby, Gordon Graham, Ann Greenway, Keith Griffiths, Anthony Hackett, Pauline Hanna, Katy Harris, L K Ho, Neil Holt, Jim Hughes, Peter Kou, Peter Kwan, Tony Lau, Charles Lee, Edwin Leung, Thomas Leung, Ivan Li, Alex Lifshcutz, Kent Lui, Noa Matsuda, Paul Matthewss, Will Matthysen, Andrew Miller, KK Mok, Arthur Mok, Judianna Mok, Nick Morgan, David Nelson, Richard Paul, Graham Phillips, Lalitha Rathnayake, David Richards, Sue Robertson, Anthony Robinson, Christopher Seddon, Ken Shuttleworth, Ellen Sin, David Smith, Kenji Sugimura, Michelle To, Jennifer Tsui, Rodney Uren, Elizabeth Wang, Fanny Wat, Chris Windsor

Image Courtesy Ian Lambot

The requirement to build in excess of one million square feet in a short timescale suggested a high degree of prefabrication, including factory-finished modules, while the need to build downwards and upwards simultaneously led to the adoption of a suspension structure, with pairs of steel masts arranged in three bays. As a result, the building form is articulated in a stepped profile of three individual towers, respectively twenty-nine, thirty-six and forty-four storeys high, which create floors of varying width and depth and allow for garden terraces. The mast structure allowed another radical move, pushing the service cores to the perimeter so as to create deep-plan floors around a ten-storey atrium. A mirrored ‘sunscoop’ reflects sunlight down through the atrium to the floor of a public plaza below – a sheltered space that at weekends has become a lively picnic spot. From the plaza, escalators rise up to the main banking hall, which with its glass underbelly was conceived as a ‘shop window for banking’.

Image Courtesy Norman Foster

The ‘bridges’ that span between the masts define double-height reception areas that break down the scale of the building both visually and socially. A unique system of movement through the building combines high-speed lifts to the reception spaces with escalators beyond, reflecting village-like clusters of office floors. From the outset, the Bank placed a high priority on flexibility. Interestingly, over the years, it has been able to reconfigure office layouts with ease, even incorporating a large dealers’ room into one floor − a move that could not have been anticipated when the building was designed.

Image Courtesy Norman Foster

1st floor Plan

Apartment plan

Section crop

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Categories: Bank, Headquarters

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