We all have a favourite Hong Kong building or skyline landmark that we use as reference or meeting point, or sometimes we have wondered what that cool building that keeps changing colors at night is or the one with the hole in the middle, so here's a quick guide to some of Hong Kong's most memorable buildings, let us know if we're missing your favourite!
You can use this guide together with the Landmarks of the Hong Kong Skyline page where we break them down by area: the Hong Kong Island, Wanchai and Kowloon Skylines.
The Hong Kong Skyline is continuously changing, we notice new buildings popping up all the time, check this out from one of our very first trips back in the '80's, Jardine House and Exchange Square are the main landmarks:
This was then...
...this is now...
Both Jardine House and Exchange Square have been dwarfed by the IFC tower which is the main landmark on this side of the harbour now.
Cool Hong Kong Buildings
The Hong Kong architecture is loaded with some of the most striking modern structures ever built all concentrated in a very small terrain, ongoing reclamation efforts keep expanding this very commanding skyline even more to the delight of contemporary architecture lovers everywhere.
There is also a very unique mix of victorian buildings as well as Chinese structures amongst the skyscrapers, giving the city a very special aura of modernism as well as traditional values.
Here are some remarkable and memorable Hong Kong Buildings:
Bank of China Tower
Cheung Kong Centre
Hong Kong Convention and
The ICC tower
The Peninsula Hotel
International Finance Centre
Chek Lap Kok International
The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank Building is 47 storeys high, a dwarf by Hong Kong standards, but the design of the building is truly a masterpiece.
Designed by Norman Foster, it consists of five main steel modules and hundreds of thousands of movable parts that were fabricated in the U.K., the U.S. and Japan and brought to Hong Kong and put together.
The HSBC building is reputed to have the best feng shui in Hong Kong with its position with unobstructed views of the harbour and its position right on the meeting point of five auspicious "dragon lines".
The Bank of China Tower
The Bank of China Tower is the 4th tallest in Hong Kong and a work by reknowned Chinese-American architect IM Pei, who also designed the controversial glass pyramid outside the Louvre in Paris.
The 72 storey tower has not endeared itself amongst the feng shui crowd unlike its rival, the HSBC building. With its sharp knife-like edges and many "X" and prism patterns which are the distinctive features of the building, it sends out all sorts of negative "cutting" vibes and has been the source of many a controversy.
The Cheung Kong Centre
The Cheung Kong Centre is the simple boxy one of the trio, after the sharp edges of the Bank of China and the fancy criss-cross modular design of the HSBC building, Cheung Kong looks "simple" and doesn't attempt to steal the show from the other two. It is built parallel to the Bank of China Tower, and in this case, a fengshui master was consulted on the best ways to deflect all the negative vibes from their neighbor.
The Cheung Kong Centre is headquarters for Cheung Kong Holdings and Hutchison Whampoa, part of Li Ka Shing's empire. Li Ka Shing himself, one of Hong Kong's richest men, lives on the top floor of the building.
The Lippo Towers
Just in the back, the Lippo towers are not really visible on the Hong Kong waterfront skyline as they are hidden by the gold-colored Far East Financial Centre but have a very memorable design. It used to be the Bond Centre, built by Australian magnate Allan Bond. The design of the building with the protruding windows sticking out on the sides are supposed to resemble koalas hugging the building, the building was also known as "the Koala tree".
The Bond Centre was supposedly one of the first casualties of the bad fengshui vibes from the Bank of China Tower, it was sold when it ran into financial troubles and became the Lippo Towers.
Two International Finance Centre
Two International Finance Centre or IFC Tower 2, is the second tallest building in Hong Kong after the ICC building in Kowloon.
The IFC Centre is a complex that includes IFC Towers 1 and 2, the IFC mall and the Four Seasons Hotel.
IFC Two is an 88-storey tower, IFC One is a mini-replica of IFC 2 with only 39 storeys they are both mainly occupied by financial and brokerage firms.
Tip: You can go up Two IFC to the 55th floor for a great free view of the Central Skyscrapers. This is actually an exhibition and information centre of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority, if you are interested in Hong Kong's Money history, don't miss the exhibition and don't miss the views!
At the IFC Mall is Hong Kong's only Apple store and also at the IFC Centre is the station of the Hong Kong Airport Express.
The Centre is the fifth tallest tower in Hong Kong with 73 floors.
This is the pretty Hong Kong building that keeps changing colors at night and the colors of the lights are designed to match special holidays and seasons during the year. Red and gold for Chinese New Year, green for Christmas, etc.
Also one of Li Ka Shing's buildings, it is located in the Western district.
This view is from Victoria Peak.
The ICC Tower
The International Commerce Centre Tower is Hong Kong's tallest building with 118 floors. The ICC is part of a newly developed complex in the Kowloon side known as Union Square.
Union Square has been built on reclaimed land, and has set off the beginnings of a new Kowloon skyline.
The ICC tower houses a range of offices, restaurants, the Ritz Carlton Hotel, and the Sky100 Observation Deck on the 100th Floor, one of Hong Kong's most popular attractions. It offers amazing 360 views of Victoria Harbour and the striking Hong Kong skyline.
Here's more on the ICC Tower and the Union Square complex
The Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre
The Hong Kong Convention Center located in a prime location in the waterfront right on Victoria Harbour just a stone-throw away from the busy Central District, is another of the city's easily recognizable landmarks with its very distinctive glass structure of beautiful flowing lines which where designed to resemble a bird in flight.
HKCEC is one of the prime venues for trade fairs and exhibitions including major events like the HK International Film Festival and Art Basel Hong Kong.
There are seven restaurants at the Hong Kong Convention Center, offering a range of dining options from casual Western and Asian fare to award-winning restaurants.
Here's more on the Hong Kong Convention Centre
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