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International Finance Centre

Central, Hong Kong Island

Hong Kong Station Development – the International Finance Centre.

The Hong Kong Station development was planned as part of the Airport Express Line and was intended to include the Airport Express Station and the In-town check-in facilities for the Airport.  Development above the station of 415,900 square metres of hotel/serviced apartments, retail and office was permitted, but subject to submission of Master Layout Plans to the Town Planning Board for approval.  The MTRC put the total development package out for tender.

Masterplan Ltd was involved in the pre-tender stage with joint venture clients, Sun Hung Kai Properties Ltd and Henderson Development Limited.  As part of the tender a non-complying proposal was presented which instead of 5 towers of around 40 storeys each, only 4 towers were proposed, with one tower of around 80 (400m) storeys.  This left a large space on the podium deck for creation of public open space, while providing scope for an iconic building being built on the north-eastern corner.  Masterplan’s role was to provide planning justification for this proposal in the context of the future expansion of the CBD and the role of the development as a future landmark for Hong Kong.

The non-conforming proposal was successful and the consortium then proceeded with obtaining approval for the development.  Masterplan Ltd had a continuous role in obtaining all the planning approvals and facilitating the approval of General Building Plans and the lease aspects up unto the completion of the development.

The proposed tall landmark tower design was subject to an international competition which was won by Ceasar Pelli.  Once that was decided, approval from the Town Planning Board was required, along with changes to the design of Tower 1, which was under construction, so that both were compatible.

There were progressive improvements to the design which related to the open decks at Levels 3 and 4 and the design of what has become the Four Seasons Hotel and Serviced Apartments.

The public podium garden and the related restaurants have been a major success and create an area of tranquillity in the bustling urban centre.  The total IFC development has achieved all of the planning objectives which were established when the first scheme was prepared.  It has provided a significant expansion to the CBD and has achieved the highest quality of office, hotel and retail facilities, and IFC 2 has become the recognised landmark of Hong Kong’s CBD.

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