XRL Topside (Express-Rail-Link) West Kowloon Station

Sun Hung Kai Properties won the record bidding tender for the plot above West Kowloon Terminus and seeks to bring transformational improvements to the previously approved scheme which was dated 10 years ago. 

The site is within a Comprehensive Development Area zone which is intended to be an important office and commercial expansion of the CBD to enhance Hong Kong’s competitive advantage. The planning application is for building relaxation, a unique clause that is uncommon in Hong Kong Outline Zoning Plans. 

The Proposed Scheme act as a social and physical connector, linking the traditional parts of Yau Tsim Mong with the new West Kowloon and the future West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) and will complete the “missing piece of the puzzle” of West Kowloon. It is also a destination with innovative and sustainable designs that offer wide-ranging spaces for public enjoyments. The highlights of the scheme mainly compose of the major north-south pedestrian walkway which is 1.5km long in total including some existing landscape decks (largely opened 24hours), the 100,000 sq ft of total open space, retail and office floors, public viewing decks, and roof garden.

Central Open Space
Central Open Space

Masterplan Ltd has been involved throughout the design development and planning application process as  the lead planning consultant. The Application Site is located at the West Kowloon Station (WKS) of the Express Rail Link (XRL). Part of the site is already developed for the WKS. This application is only for a proposed development in the Topside Development Zone, located alongside the WKS.

The site imposes various restrictions due to existing structure and foundations of the West Kowloon Station along with several footbridges which severely limits design options.  As a Scheme was Approved in 2010, much of the Proposed Scheme focused on improving the limitations of the Approved Scheme , and to create an urban centre to better fit the current context which has changed drastically. 

Considerations in sustainability, pedestrianisation, placemaking, and post-COVID-19 design measures were heavily incorporated to ensure that the proposed development is suitable for the health and well-being of future users of all types.

The Proposed Scheme is also better suited for the vibrant district that West Kowloon has become that the previously Approved Scheme, where retail and office spaces have greatly increased in demand due to the XRL. Integration with the existing West Kowloon Station is achieved by articulate architectural and landscape design.

During the consultation period of the application, Masterplan along with the Applicant and Zaha Hadid Architect presented the Scheme to Harbourfront Commission as it situates within the Harbour-front Areas , and demonstrated how the Proposed Scheme was guided by the relevant Harbour Planning Principles.