Header image courtesy of @wanwanzi (via Instagram)
Just when we thought we had admired Victoria Harbour from every angle possible, a brand-new pet-friendly harbourfront park with panoramic harbour views and colourful Instagram spots opened in Fortress Hill, adding a whopping 360 metres of public waterfront space! Following the official opening ceremony on Saturday (25 September), joggers, dog-walkers, cyclists, and general park-loving people can now enjoy East Coast Park Precinct all day, every day.
Situated to the west of Watson Road, the precinct was previously a works area for the Central-Wan Chai Bypass (CWB) project, with its entrance located underneath the CWB flyover. The newly opened space—which is only Phase I of the East Coast Park Precinct—comprises 9,800 square metres of public spaces, with lawns, benches, shelters, “large-scale word art” (read: a sign), and a children’s playground.
To allow children to play freely while their parents relax, a small route for balance bikers has been created within the playground, while slides and safety floor mats have been incorporated into the design of the sloping seawalls for peace of mind. Besides the practicality and cleverness of the design, the playground is just plain beautiful, with swathes of bright colour and plenty of Instagram-ready tableaux.
Uniquely, there is also a breakwater—a pier-like structure that protects the shore from strong waves—which is the only one within Victoria Harbour that is open to the public. Jutting out from the harbourfront, the 100-metre-long wall offers visitors the opportunity to enjoy the kind of 360-degree harbour views that would normally require being out at sea! Despite being open for only a few days, the area has already proven to be a popular fishing spot, with hobbyist anglers seen flocking to the breakwater with their rods in tow.
Under the theme of “windows,” the architect incorporated window frames of all sizes into the design of the park—from balustrades to outdoor installations, and sheltered seating areas—so that viewers can enjoy the scenery as if they are viewing it through a window. Besides the frame-worthy views, the park also hosts exhibitions—currently, an exhibition of eco-friendly clothing and accessories is being displayed on the breakwater, where it will remain until 2 October.
Phase II of the East Coast—which will comprise a “Pierside Precinct” and “Water Sports and Recreation Precinct”—as well as the Revitalised Typhoon Shelter Precinct are set to open by the end of the year, which will extend the public promenade along Victoria Harbour by a further 25 kilometres.