The Opus, 53 Stubbs Road, The Peak
This spectacular residential development is the outcome of a long term strategy to optimize the value of a prime site located on Stubbs Road. The product of the strategy has been the construction of the iconic building, The Opus. Masterplan was involved from the strategic planning stage through to the approval of building plans.
The site is located at 44 Stubbs Road, now in the “Residential (Group B)2” zone on The Peak Area Outline Zoning Plan (OZP). In the earlier versions of the OZP the zoning on the site was R(C)4 which permitted a building of 12 storeys with a plot ratio of only 0.5. Initially an administrative rezoning application was made to permit a plot ratio of 2.1 similar to other developments in the neighbourhood, but that was rejected.
When The Peak OZP was amended, an opportunity was created to submit a representation objecting to the plot ratio restriction. A similar application was made by Masterplan for No. 44 Stubbs Road which had similar zoning restrictions. Following the hearing for the representations the Town Planning Board agreed to the increase in plot ratio, and rezoned both sites to R(B)2, the same as for the existing sites on the uphill side of Stubbs Road.
Rezoning Submissions, Representations and Detailed Implementation
The owners, Swire, appointed world-famous architect, Frank Gehry to design the residential development which is unlike any other in Hong Kong. It enjoys a high vantage point on a ridgeline, which allows a spectacular panoramic view of the city landscape and Victoria Harbour. The residential units proposed in this building are exceptionally large. Each unit is about 500-600 square metres GFA. with each floor typically having only one unit. The size and design of these flats is more like “grand houses in the sky” where the unit size is even much larger than many typical detached houses or town houses in Hong Kong. Each flat can have five very large bedrooms and an extremely large living/dining area, but each would be available for individual internal designs.
The exceptional design of the building created special challenges for the formal building plan approval process where Masterplan provided assistance. This required justification of the extensive verandahs, the exceptional internal floor to ceiling height and Planning Departments concerns that the overall building height may be excessive. All were successfully resolved resulting in an interesting building compatible with its elevated surroundings.