Zaha Hadid Architects reveals design for skyscraper on world’s most expensive site

Zaha Hadid Architects Hong Kong skyscraper at 2 Murray Road

UK architecture studio Zaha Hadid Architects has unveiled its design for a sinuous, glass, 36-storey skyscraper, which will be built in Hong Kong at 2 Murray Road on what is reportedly the world’s most expensive plot.

The 36-storey skyscraper in Hong Kong‘s central business district will be built alongside the Bank of China Tower by IM Pei, and in close proximity to the HSBC building by Foster + Partners.

It will replace a multistorey car park that was purchased by developer Henderson Land for HK$23.3 billion ($3 billion) in 2017, making it the world’s most expensive site according to numerous news outlets.

Zaha Hadid Architects Hong Kong skyscraper at 2 Murray Road
Top: 2 Murray Road skyscraper in Hong Kong. Above: the skyscraper (centre) will be built alongside the Bank of China Tower (right)

Zaha Hadid Architects‘ skyscraper will have a glass facade made from a series of curved segments that rise to form two sets of open-air balconies filled with trees.

Directly below the higher balcony, which is located around two-thirds of the way up the skyscraper, will be a planted sky garden. This space will also house a running track.

At the top of the skyscraper, an enclosed banqueting hall will have views across the city.

According to the studio, the building’s form was based on the shape of a bud from the Bauhinia plant, which was previously grown near the site and is the flower at the centre of the city’s flag.

Hong Kong skyscraper at 2 Murray Road with tree-filled balconies
The skyscraper will have tree-filled balconies and an enclosed sky garden

“The design reinterprets the structural forms and layering of a Bauhinia bud about to blossom,” said the studio.

“Known as the Hong Kong orchid tree, the Bauhinia x blakeana was first propagated in the city’s botanic gardens above the Murray Road site and its flowering bud features on Hong Kong’s flag.”

Hong Kong skyscraper raised above ground
It will be connected to Hong Kong’s elevated pedestrian network

The main body of the skyscraper will be elevated above the ground and connected into the city’s network of raised pedestrian walkways, with a series of courtyards and gardens placed under the building.

“Echoing the organic forms of the natural world; the redevelopment connects with the adjacent public gardens and parks,” explained the studio.

“These tranquil outdoor areas flow into the generous communal spaces of the interior; the craftsmanship and precision of the curved glass facade enhancing this seamless connectivity between the building’s interiors and the surrounding gardens and city beyond.”

Hong Kong skyscraper looks like Bauhinia bud
2 Murray Road was designed to look like a Bauhinia bud

The skyscraper, which will be built with a high-tensile steel structure, has been designed to achieve a sustainability rating of LEED Platinum and the highest 3-Star rating in China’s Green Building Rating Program.

It will be clad in four-ply, double-laminated, double-curved insulated glass units and all floors will be naturally ventilated.

Banquet hall at top of Hong Kong skyscraper
The skyscraper will be topped by a banquet hall

When it is complete, 2 Murray Road will be Zaha Hadid Architects’ second project in the city, along with the 78-metre-high Jockey Club Innovation Tower on the Hong Kong Polytechnic University campus, which opened in 2014.

Founded by the late Zaha Hadid in 1980, Zaha Hadid Architects is now led by Patrik Schumacher. The studio has recently revealed designs for a metro station in Moscow, a stadium in China and a housing complex in Honduras.


Project credits:

Client: Henderson Land
Architect: Zaha Hadid Architects
Design: Patrik Schumacher
ZHA project directors: Jim Heverin; Sara Klomps, Chris Lepine
ZHA project team: Brandon Gehrke, Bidisha Sinha, Carlos Michel-Medina, Edgar Payan, Eddie Can, Fernando Alvarenga, Hazel Wu, Inês Fontoura, Irena Predalic, Janet Cheung, Kaloyan Erevinov, Kar-Hwa Ho, Karoly Markos, Kelvin Ma, Kylie Chan, Magda Smolinska, Melodie Leung, Michael Sims, Muriel Boselli, Nailu Chen, Oliver Bray, Paulo Flores, Simon Yu, Tim Yeung, Torsten Broeder, Yun Zhang
ZHA Competition Team: Edgar Payan, Adrian Yiu, Brandon Gehrke, Carlota Boyer, Eddie Can, Fernando Alvarenga, Irena Predalic, Karoly Markos, Lorena Espaillat Bencosme, Maria Tsironi, Michail Desyllas, Nailu Chen, Paulo Flores, Philip Siedler, Saman Dadgostar, Torsten Broeder, Uli Blum
Local architect and AP: Ronald Lu & Partners
Building services engineering: WSP
Structural and geotechnical engineering: LERA Consulting Structural Engineers (Steel); C M Wong & Associates; Eckersley O’Callaghan Asia (Footbridges & Banquet Hall)
Facade engineering: Group 5F; Meinhardt Facade Technology
Lighting consultant: LichtVision; Speirs + Major (landscape and media facaade)
Landscaping: PWP Landscape Architecture; Earthasia
Quantity surveyor: Rider Levett Bucknall
Sustainability & civil engineering: Arup
Traffic consultant: MVA
Acoustic consultant: Shen Milsom & Wilke
Vibration consultant: C.F. Ng and Associates
AV / IV / Specialist Media consultant: Ptarmigan Integration Limited
Security consultant: UCS Hong Kong
Signage and wayfinding consultant: Atelier Pacific

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