Known as one of the most vibrant and densely populated cities in Asia, Hong Kong is home to some of the most stunning architecture buildings in the world. But if you think you’ve seen it all, you better think again. From a hidden monastery in Tai Po, to a quirky island minutes away from Cheung Chau, we present you with some of the most stunning architecture you didn’t know existed in the 852.
Hong Kong Design Institute
Sitting just across the road from Tiu Keng Leng MTR station, the Hong Kong Design Institute is a stunning piece of architecture designed by the renowned French architects from Coldefy & Associés Architectes Urbanistes. Featuring a suspended glass box raised by four lattice-steel towers, resting on a grass-slope podium, the design institute educates up to 4,000 students of artistic and multimedia disciplines each year. Apart from its striking facade, the building is also intricately designed both inside and out. With a rooftop urban park, cafe, sports hall, swimming pool, a gallery, and multiple event spaces for everything from fashion shows to classical music recitals, this place will no doubt leave its students feeling inspired.
Hong Kong Design Institue, 3 King Ling Road, Tiu Keng Leng, Tseung Kwan O
Tai Po Lookout Tower
If you’re ever planning on heading up to the New Territories, be sure to pay a visit to the Spiral Lookout Tower at the Tai Po Waterfront Park. Standing at 32.4m tall, this futuristic-looking structure was established for the commemoration of the 1997 handover. It’s also said that the location of the tower is the exact same place where the British troops made their landing as they took over the New Territories. Yes, we know the New Territories is a bit far away, but there’s no denying the Spiral Lookout Tower is an impressive landmark that will make your trip worthwhile.
Tai Po Lookout Tower, Tai Po Waterfront Park, Dai Hei Street, Tai Po
Tucked away against the lush hillside of Happy Valley, THR350 is a nine-storey building designed to house a modern art collector and his family, with every floor separated into an apartment-like structure to give privacy to each family member as well as guests. Intricately designed, the building’s stand-out façade features three stacking ice cubes where the staircases create a sense of drama and chaos for its art-loving residents. From the inside to the outside, this work of art is truly one-of-a-kind. If you do decide to give it a visit, just remember to be mindful of the family’s privacy!
THR350, 350 Tai Hang Road, Happy Valley
Serving as the School of Film and Television to the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (HKAPA) since 2006, the Béthanie is a historic piece of French colonial architecture situated by the quiet roadside of Pok Fu Lam. Although this neo-gothic style of building is not a rare site in Hong Kong, what sets it apart is its breathtaking chapel that is a prime location for wedding ceremonies and photoshoots. But it hasn’t always been like this — in fact, the Béthanie was set to be demolished back in 1975, and it wasn’t until the building was declared a Grade II listed building in 1981 that HKAPA had a chance to swoop in and begin restoring its deteriorated areas. Perfectly retaining its distinctive traditional elements, while still keeping up with the needs of a modern film and television school, the Béthanie is a true gem that’s filled with history and culture.
The Béthanie, 139 Pok Fu Lam Road, Pok Fu Lam
Located by the beautiful shores of Nim Wan, Tuen Mun, T·PARK is Hong Kong’s very first self-sustained park that combines advanced technologies with recreational, educational, and ecological features together in a single complex. On top of the park’s unique streamlined wave-form designed to mimic its natural surrounding landscape, the facility itself has no external supply of water or electricity at all. Instead, the place is powered by its onsite desalination plant where wastewater gets processed and treated for reuse, while their incinerator, turbine, and condenser work together to recover heat energy and generate electricity. Still not impressed? Then you should head over to their website and check out their full event schedule available for the public. From toy-making workshops, to wonderful art exhibitions, T·PARK will no doubt make a perfect day out for the whole family.
T·PARK, 25 Nim Wan Road, Tuen Mun
Shek Kwu Chau Drug Rehabilitation Centre
There are many outlying islands in Hong Kong, but none quite match up to the unique and quirky Shek Kwu Chau. Located just off the west of Cheung Chau, this remote island is not only home to recovering male drug addicts at the voluntary Drug Rehabilitation Centre, but also many sculptures, artworks, Chinese temples, and even a Roman bath that took 15 years to build. Yes, that’s right, a Roman bath! Originally designed as a leisure facility for those in treatment to relax, it’s now a water reservoir due to the lack of water supply running through the island. Sadly, this wonderful island is closed off to the public and can only be visited by those with a special permit.
Shek Kwu Chau, Lantau
Tsz Shan Monastery
No, this isn’t a scene from the latest kung fu movie, it’s just Li Ka Shing’s $1.5 billion Tsz Shan monastery featuring the world’s second tallest Kwum Yum statue, quietly sitting by the green hills of Tai Po. With three main buildings connected through a central courtyard, the majestic and elegant architecture of the whole monastery has been inspired by a mix of different eras in the ancient dynasty. The Tsz Shan Monastery is by far one of the most unique and surreal places in Hong Kong, and public visits are limited to individuals (one to six people) or charitable organisations which pre-register under their online booking system. We could go on all day about how beautiful this place is, but really, just go and see it for yourself!
Tsz Shan Monastery, 88 Universal Gate Road, Tai Po
Haw Par Mansion
Built in 1935, Haw Par Mansion, along with the adjacent Tiger Balm Garden, is one of the most historical buildings in Hong Kong. While the mansion was restricted for private use, the garden was in fact Hong Kong’s very first theme park that focused on the concept of Chinese mythology, making it a popular family destination back in the day. Sadly, the iconic garden was demolished in 2004 to make way for what is now known as The Legend, a luxury residential development. The Haw Par Mansion remained and became listed as a Grade 1 heritage building, and is now under development to convert into a music school run by Haw Par Music Foundation, which will open its doors in late 2018.
Haw Par Mansion, 15A Tai Hang Road, Tai Hang
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