Architecture of Hong Kong
The Architecture of Hong Kong features great emphasis on Contemporary architecture
Contemporary architecture
Contemporary architecture is generally speaking the architecture of the present time.The term contemporary architecture is also applied to a range of styles of recently built structures and space which are optimized for current use....

, specially Modernism
Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement, its set of cultural tendencies and array of associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society...

, Postmodernism
Postmodernism is a philosophical movement evolved in reaction to modernism, the tendency in contemporary culture to accept only objective truth and to be inherently suspicious towards a global cultural narrative or meta-narrative. Postmodernist thought is an intentional departure from the...

, Functionalism
Functionalism (architecture)
Functionalism, in architecture, is the principle that architects should design a building based on the purpose of that building. This statement is less self-evident than it first appears, and is a matter of confusion and controversy within the profession, particularly in regard to modern...

, etc. Due to the lack of available land, few historical buildings remain in the urban areas of Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

. However, Hong Kong has become a centre for modern architecture
Modern architecture
Modern architecture is generally characterized by simplification of form and creation of ornament from the structure and theme of the building. It is a term applied to an overarching movement, with its exact definition and scope varying widely...

 as older buildings are cleared away to make space for newer, larger buildings. It has more buildings above 35m (or 100m) and more skyscrapers above 150m than any other city. Hong Kong's skyline
A skyline is the overall or partial view of a city's tall buildings and structures consisting of many skyscrapers in front of the sky in the background. It can also be described as the artificial horizon that a city's overall structure creates. Skylines serve as a kind of fingerprint of a city, as...

 is often considered to be the best in the world, with the surrounding mountains and Victoria Harbour
Victoria Harbour
Victoria Harbour is a natural landform harbour situated between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula in Hong Kong. The harbour's deep, sheltered waters and strategic location on the South China Sea were instrumental in Hong Kong's establishment as a British colony and its subsequent...

 complementing the skyscrapers.

Chinese architecture

Prior to the British settlement of Hong Kong in 1841, architecture in Hong Kong was predominately Chinese
Chinese architecture
Chinese architecture refers to a style of architecture that has taken shape in East Asia over many centuries. The structural principles of Chinese architecture have remained largely unchanged, the main changes being only the decorative details...

. With the majority of the population being fisher
A fisherman or fisher is someone who captures fish and other animals from a body of water, or gathers shellfish. Worldwide, there are about 38 million commercial and subsistence fishermen and fish farmers. The term can also be applied to recreational fishermen and may be used to describe both men...

s at the mercy of typhoons and pirates, numerous Tin Hau Temples
Tin Hau temples in Hong Kong
Over 70 temples are dedicated to Tin Hau in Hong Kong. They include:* Tin Hau temple, located at 10 Tin Hau Temple Road, Causeway Bay, east of Victoria Park, in Eastern District, on Hong Kong Island. It is a declared monument. The temple has given its name to the MTR station serving it .* The Tin...

 were dedicated to their patron Goddess. Likewise farmers built fortified villages to defend themselves from bandits.

After the British established the entrepôt
An entrepôt is a trading post where merchandise can be imported and exported without paying import duties, often at a profit. This profit is possible because of trade conditions, for example, the reluctance of ships to travel the entire length of a long trading route, and selling to the entrepôt...

 of Victoria City
Victoria City
Victoria, Victoria City, or statutorily, the City of Victoria, was one of the first urban settlements in Hong Kong after it became a British colony in 1842. It was initially named Queenstown but was soon known as Victoria...

 (now Central and Western District
Central and Western District
The Central and Western District located on northern part of Hong Kong Island is one of the 18 administrative districts of Hong Kong. It had a population of 261,884 in 2001...

 on Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island
Hong Kong Island is an island in the southern part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. It has a population of 1,289,500 and its population density is 16,390/km², as of 2008...

), the local population increased substantially, and as a result Tong Lau
Tong Lau
Tong Lau or Kee-lau are tenement buildings built in late 19th century to the 1960s in Hong Kong, Macau, southern China and Taiwan...

(Chinese tenement) began to appear. These were three-to-four storey buildings, tightly packed in city blocks, and combining Chinese and European architectural elements. The ground floor were typically shops, with apartments and small balconies upstairs. These buildings had stairs but no elevator
An elevator is a type of vertical transport equipment that efficiently moves people or goods between floors of a building, vessel or other structures...

s, and sometimes had neither toilet
A toilet is a sanitation fixture used primarily for the disposal of human excrement, often found in a small room referred to as a toilet/bathroom/lavatory...

 facilities. These Tong Lau remained the mainstay of Hong Kong architecture until at least World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

; a number of these building survive to this day, albeit often in a derelict state.

European architecture

Meanwhile, the British introduced Victorian
Victorian architecture
The term Victorian architecture refers collectively to several architectural styles employed predominantly during the middle and late 19th century. The period that it indicates may slightly overlap the actual reign, 20 June 1837 – 22 January 1901, of Queen Victoria. This represents the British and...

 and Edwardian
Edwardian architecture
Edwardian architecture is the style popular when King Edward VII of the United Kingdom was in power; he reigned from 1901 to 1910, but the architecture style is generally considered to be indicative of the years 1901 to 1914....

 architecture styles from the mid-19th century onwards. Notable surviving examples include the Legislative Council Building
Legislative Council Building
The Legislative Council Building of Hong Kong, also called the Former Supreme Court Building , was the home of the former Supreme Court until 1985, when it was renamed and became home to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong. Members of the Council and the President have offices in this building...

, the Central Police Station
Central Police Station
Central Police Station is a former police station, located at the eastern end of Hollywood Road, in Central, Hong Kong. It is awaiting development following its decommissioning.-History:...

 and Murray House
Murray House
Murray House is a Victorian-era building in Stanley in Hong Kong. Originally built in the present-day business district of Central in 1846 as officers' quarters of the Murray Barracks, the building was relocated to the south of Hong Kong Island during the 2000s.- Architecture :Murray House was one...

. One building that has since been demolished was the Hong Kong Club Building
Hong Kong Club Building
The Hong Kong Club Building is 25-storey office building located in between Chater Road and Connaught Road Central at the junction of Jackson Road, in Central, Hong Kong. The Hong Kong Club Building is currently in its third generation, in its second location...

; it was built atop a smaller structure designed in Italian Renaissance Revival style in 1897. The building was the subject of a bitter heritage conservation
Architectural conservation
Architectural conservation describes the process through which the material, historical, and design integrity of mankind's built heritage are prolonged through carefully planned interventions. The individual engaged in this pursuit is known as an architectural conservator...

 struggle in the late 1970s, which ultimately failed to save the building.

The first building in Hong Kong to be classified as the first high rise was constructed between June 1904 and December 1905. It consisted of 5 major buildings, each stacking 5 to 6 stories high. The structures were raised by the Hong Kong Land company under Catchick Paul Chater
Catchick Paul Chater
Sir Catchick Paul Chater, CMG , was a prominent British businessman of Armenian descent in colonial Hong Kong.-Early life:...

 and James Johnstone Keswick
Keswick family
The Keswick family are a business dynasty of Scottish origin associated with the Far East since 1855 and in particular the conglomerate Jardine Matheson....


Most high rise buildings to be built afterwards were for business purposes; the first true skyscraper in Hong Kong was built for HongkongBank in 1935, which was also the first building in Hong Kong to have air conditioning
Air conditioning
An air conditioner is a home appliance, system, or mechanism designed to dehumidify and extract heat from an area. The cooling is done using a simple refrigeration cycle...

; however this has since been replaced with the HSBC Main Building, Hong Kong of 1985. Likewise the few examples of 1930s Streamline Moderne
Streamline Moderne
Streamline Moderne, sometimes referred to by either name alone or as Art Moderne, was a late type of the Art Deco design style which emerged during the 1930s...

 and Bauhaus
', commonly known simply as Bauhaus, was a school in Germany that combined crafts and the fine arts, and was famous for the approach to design that it publicized and taught. It operated from 1919 to 1933. At that time the German term stood for "School of Building".The Bauhaus school was founded by...

 architecture in Hong Kong, such as the Central Market
Central Market
Central Market was a fresh food market in Central, Hong Kong. Located between Jubilee Street, Queen Victoria Street, Queen's Road Central and Des Voeux Road Central, it was the first wet market in Hong Kong. By its side is the first public female toilet and first above-ground toilets in Hong Kong...

 and the Wan Chai Market
Wan Chai Market
The Wan Chai Market was constructed in 1937. It is located at 264 Queen's Road East and Stone Nullah Lane in Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island. It is a Grade III Historic Building....

, are facing imminent demolitions despite protests from heritage conservation groups.

In the residential sector, multi-story buildings did not appear until the Buildings Ordinance 1955 lifted the height limit of residential buildings. This change was necessitated by the massive influx of refugees into Hong Kong after the Communist revolution in China in 1949, and the subsequent Shek Kip Mei
Shek Kip Mei
Shek Kip Mei, originally known as Kap Shek Mi, is an area in New Kowloon, the North Eastern Kowloon Peninsula of Hong Kong.-History:A major fire on 25 December 1953, destroyed the Shek Kip Mei shantytown of immigrants from Mainland China that had fled to Hong Kong, leaving 53,000 people...

 slum fire in 1953.
Public housing estate
Public housing in Hong Kong
Public housing in Hong Kong is a set of mass housing programmes through which the Government of Hong Kong provides affordable housing for lower-income residents. It is a major component of housing in Hong Kong, with nearly half of the population now residing in some form of public housing...

s, originally seven-storeys high with notoriously cramped conditions, public bathrooms and no kitchens, were hastily built to accommodate the homeless; meanwhile private apartments, still tightly packed into city blocks like the Tong Lau
Tong Lau
Tong Lau or Kee-lau are tenement buildings built in late 19th century to the 1960s in Hong Kong, Macau, southern China and Taiwan...

of old, had grown to over 20 stories high by the mid-1960s.

The private housing estate
Private housing estate
A private housing estate is a term in Hong Kong that refers to a housing estate developed by a private developer, as opposed to a public housing estate built by the Hong Kong Housing Authority or the Hong Kong Housing Society. It usually is characterised with a cluster of high-rise buildings,...

 began in 1965 with Mei Foo Sun Chuen
Mei Foo Sun Chuen
Mei Foo Sun Chuen or simply Mei Foo is a large private housing estate in Lai Chi Kok , Kowloon, Hong Kong. Mei Foo Sun Chuen was the first private housing estate in Hong Kong and at the time of completion, the 99 tower complex was considered the largest private housing development in the world,...

. The first major private construction came from Swire properties in 1972 with the development of middle-class estate of Taikoo Shing
Taikoo Shing
Taikoo Shing, or Tai Koo Shing , is a private residential in Quarry Bay, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong. It forms a part of the Swire Properties's Island East residential and retail branding, along with TaiKoo Place, the adjacent Cityplaza retail and office complex and EAST, a lifestyle business...

. With little space wasted on statues or landmarks that consumed unnecessary real estate, Taikoo Shing's design was the new standard.

Contemporary architecture

Until the late 1990s, the primary demand for high-end building
In architecture, construction, engineering, real estate development and technology the word building may refer to one of the following:...

s was in and around Central
Central and Western District
The Central and Western District located on northern part of Hong Kong Island is one of the 18 administrative districts of Hong Kong. It had a population of 261,884 in 2001...

. The buildings of Central comprise the skyline
A skyline is the overall or partial view of a city's tall buildings and structures consisting of many skyscrapers in front of the sky in the background. It can also be described as the artificial horizon that a city's overall structure creates. Skylines serve as a kind of fingerprint of a city, as...

 along the coast of the Victoria Harbour
Victoria Harbour
Victoria Harbour is a natural landform harbour situated between Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula in Hong Kong. The harbour's deep, sheltered waters and strategic location on the South China Sea were instrumental in Hong Kong's establishment as a British colony and its subsequent...

, a famous tourist attraction in Hong Kong. But until Kai Tak Airport
Kai Tak Airport
Kai Tak Airport was the international airport of Hong Kong from 1925 until 1998. It was officially known as the Hong Kong International Airport from 1954 to 6 July 1998, when it was closed and replaced by the new Hong Kong International Airport at Chek Lap Kok, 30 km to the west...

 closed in 1998, strict height restrictions were in force in Kowloon
Kowloon is an urban area in Hong Kong comprising the Kowloon Peninsula and New Kowloon. It is bordered by the Lei Yue Mun strait in the east, Mei Foo Sun Chuen and Stonecutter's Island in the west, Tate's Cairn and Lion Rock in the north, and Victoria Harbour in the south. It had a population of...

 so that airplane
Fixed-wing aircraft
A fixed-wing aircraft is an aircraft capable of flight using wings that generate lift due to the vehicle's forward airspeed. Fixed-wing aircraft are distinct from rotary-wing aircraft in which wings rotate about a fixed mast and ornithopters in which lift is generated by flapping wings.A powered...

s could come in to land. These restrictions have now been lifted and many new skyscrapers in Kowloon have been constructed, including the International Commerce Center at the West Kowloon
West Kowloon
West Kowloon is a part of Kowloon, Hong Kong situated within the Yau Tsim Mong District. It is bounded by Canton Road to the east, Victoria Harbour to the west and the south, and Jordan Road to the north. Further to the north, the area extends to Tai Kok Tsui to the west of the West Kowloon...

Land reclamation in Hong Kong
Land is in short supply in Hong Kong, and land reclamation has been conducted there since the mid-19th century.-Projects:One of the earliest and famous project was the Praya Reclamation Scheme, which added 50 to of land in 1890 during the second phase of construction...

, which has been the tallest building in Hong Kong since its completion in 2010.

Many commercial and residential towers built in the past two decades are among the tallest in the world, including Highcliff
Highcliff is a 252.4-metre tall skyscraper located on a south slope of Happy Valley on the Hong Kong Island in Hong Kong. The 75 storey building's construction began in 2000 and was completed in 2003 under a design by DLN Architects & Engineers...

, The Arch, and The Harbourside. Still, more towers are under construction, like One Island East
One Island East
One Island East , is a supertall skyscraper that is located in TaiKoo Place on Island East, Hong Kong. The skyscraper is a commercial office building that rises 298.35 m and has 69 stories of habitable office space and two basement levels, thus contains 71 stories in total. There is a sky lobby...

. At present, Hong Kong has the world's biggest skyline with a total of 7,681 skyscrapers, placing it ahead of even New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, despite the fact that New York is larger in area. Most of these were built in past two decades.

Hong Kong's best-known building is probably Ieoh Ming Pei's Bank of China Tower. The building attracted heated controversy from the moment its design was released to the public, which continued for years after the building's completion in 1990. The building was said to cast negative feng shui
Feng shui
Feng shui ' is a Chinese system of geomancy believed to use the laws of both Heaven and Earth to help one improve life by receiving positive qi. The original designation for the discipline is Kan Yu ....

 energy into the heart of Hong Kong due to the building's sharp angle
In geometry, an angle is the figure formed by two rays sharing a common endpoint, called the vertex of the angle.Angles are usually presumed to be in a Euclidean plane with the circle taken for standard with regard to direction. In fact, an angle is frequently viewed as a measure of an circular arc...

s. One rumour even went so far as to say that the negative energy was concentrated on the Government House
Government House
Government House is the name of many of the residences of Governors-General, Governors and Lieutenant-Governors in the Commonwealth and the remaining colonies of the British Empire. It serves as the venue for the Governor's official business, as well as the many receptions and functions hosted by...

 as a Chinese plot to foil any decisions taken there. The two white aerial
Aerial cartwheel
An aerial cartwheel is an acrobatic move in which a cartwheel is executed without touching hands to the floor. During execution of a standard cartwheel, the performer's body is supported by the hands while transitioning through the inverted orientation, whereas an aerial cartwheel performer is...

s on top on the building were deemed inauspicious as two sticks of incense
Incense is composed of aromatic biotic materials, which release fragrant smoke when burned. The term "incense" refers to the substance itself, rather than to the odor that it produces. It is used in religious ceremonies, ritual purification, aromatherapy, meditation, for creating a mood, and for...

 are burned for the dead.

One of the largest construction projects in Hong Kong has been the new Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport
Hong Kong International Airport is the main airport in Hong Kong. It is colloquially known as Chek Lap Kok Airport , being built on the island of Chek Lap Kok by land reclamation, and also to distinguish it from its predecessor, the closed Kai Tak Airport.The airport opened for commercial...

 on Chek Lap Kok
Chek Lap Kok
Chek Lap Kok was an island in the western waters of Hong Kong. Together with the smaller Lam Chau, it was leveled and merged via land reclamation into the platform for the current Hong Kong International Airport, which opened for commercial operations in 1998...

 near Lantau, which was the most extensive single civil engineering project ever undertaken. Designed by Sir Norman Foster
Norman Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank
Norman Robert Foster, Baron Foster of Thames Bank, OM is a British architect whose company maintains an international design practice, Foster + Partners....

, the huge land reclamation project is linked to the centre of Hong Kong by the Lantau Link
Lantau Link
The Lantau Link, formerly known as the Lantau Fixed Crossing, is a series of infrastructures linking Hong Kong International Airport to the urban areas in Hong Kong. It was officially opened on 27 April 1997, and it opened to traffic on 22 May the same year.-Infrastructure:The Lantau Link is 3.5 km...

, which features three new major bridge
A bridge is a structure built to span physical obstacles such as a body of water, valley, or road, for the purpose of providing passage over the obstacle...

s: the world's sixth largest suspension bridge
Suspension bridge
A suspension bridge is a type of bridge in which the deck is hung below suspension cables on vertical suspenders. Outside Tibet and Bhutan, where the first examples of this type of bridge were built in the 15th century, this type of bridge dates from the early 19th century...

, Tsing Ma
Tsing Ma Bridge
The Tsing Ma Bridge is a bridge in Hong Kong. It is the world's seventh-longest span suspension bridge, and was the second longest at time of completion. The bridge was named after two of the islands at its ends, namely Tsing Yi and Ma Wan . It has two decks and carries both road and rail...

, which was built in 1997, connecting the islands of Tsing Yi
Tsing Yi
Tsing Yi , or Tsing Yi Island is an island in the urban area of Hong Kong, to the northwest of Hong Kong Island and south of Tsuen Wan. With an area of 10.69 km², the island has extended drastically by reclamation along almost all its natural shore and the annexation of Nga Ying Chau and Chau...

 and Ma Wan
Ma Wan
Ma Wan is an island of Hong Kong, located between Lantau Island and Tsing Yi Island, with an area of 0.97 km². Administratively, it is part of Tsuen Wan District....

; the world's longest cable-stayed bridge
Cable-stayed bridge
A cable-stayed bridge is a bridge that consists of one or more columns , with cables supporting the bridge deck....

 carrying both road and railway traffic, Kap Shui Mun
Kap Shui Mun Bridge
The Kap Shui Mun Bridge in Hong Kong is one of the longest cable-stayed bridges in the world that transports both road and railway traffic, with the upper deck for motor vehicles, and the lower deck for both vehicles and the MTR. It has a main span of 430 metres and an overall length of 750 metres...

, which links Ma Wan and Lantau; and the world's first major 4-span cable-stayed bridge, Ting Kau
Ting Kau Bridge
Ting Kau Bridge is a 1,177-metre long cable-stayed bridge in Hong Kong that spans from the northwest of Tsing Yi Island and Tuen Mun Road. It is adjacent to Tsing Ma Bridge which also serves as major connector between the Hong Kong International Airport on Lantau Island and the rest of Hong Kong....

, which connects Tsing Yi and the mainland New Territories
New Territories
New Territories is one of the three main regions of Hong Kong, alongside Hong Kong Island and the Kowloon Peninsula. It makes up 86.2% of Hong Kong's territory. Historically, it is the region described in The Convention for the Extension of Hong Kong Territory...


See also

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.