The Kai Tak runway was a bustling international airport of Hong Kong operating from 1925 until 1998. At the closure of Kai Tak Airport, the government drew up a redevelopment plan to turn the runway strip and surrounding area into a vibrant commercial district that included public housing, residential, hotel, office, sports stadium and leisure park. Kowloon East would become an attractive new region with its own CBD that is envisioned to be people-centric, vibrant and sustainable.
Farrells’ new Headquarters project in Kai Tak is one of the latest urban additions to the new Kai Tak city. Farrells won the commission of this 47,000 sq.m. civic building project. Located on Concorde Road of Kai Tak and built on the former Kai Tak Airport police base, the new Headquarters spans 16 floors and includes offices, vehicular area and operational base of various police units with ancillary facilities. Farrells handled meticulously the design of this new integrated complex which combines functionality, sustainability and aesthetics.
The primary components of vehicle parking and functional spaces forms two parts to the scheme; the lower building block of 5 levels houses car parking facilities and the higher building block accommodates the office and other functional units. The design cleverly adopts the interplay of interlocking building masses to break down the building’s bulky massing. The Headquarters is manifested as a human-orientated development where the entrance adopts an open, permeable and accessible design to connect with the streetscape.
The entrance design uses transparent glazing to promote a sense of openness to the public. The setting back of the office tower from Prince Edward Road East is also a design response to the site context to mitigate traffic noise nuisance from the main road. Vertical greening is designed at the façade of the lower building block as another important feature, with planting troughs added to the façade of the vehicle car parking levels.
This not only maximises site greenery coverage but also provides visual interest and facilitates cross ventilation. The Headquarters has also been designed to international standards of sustainability, with Platinum rating achieved in the Provisional Assessment of the Building Environmental Assessment Method (BEAM Plus), reinforcing our design priorities in designing sustainable buildings for the community.
The building exterior is designed to portray an image of robustness and endurance incorporating modest colours in line with the public service buildings. The interior design along with the internal spaces are planned with clear way finding to enhance operational efficiency. From transportation hub to commercial hub, Kowloon East is beginning to take shape as the new CBD of the east. The new Kowloon East Regional Headquarters building takes off as an important part of the urban transformation of Kowloon East and as the gateway of the new Kai Tak city – setting a precedent and visionary picture of a new urban skyline. Source and photo Courtesy of Farrells.