Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong

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Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong
Bank of China Tower is one of the most recognisable skyscrapers in Central, Hong Kong. It houses the headquarters for the Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited.

The building is 305 m (1,000.7 ft) high with two masts reaching 367.4 m (1,205.4 ft) high. It was the tallest building in Hong Kong and Asia from 1989 to 1992, and it was the first building outside the United States to break the 305 m (1,000 ft) mark. It is now the fourth tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong, after International Commerce Centre, Two International Finance Centre and Central Plaza.

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I. M. Pei, The 72 story building is located near Central MTR station. As well as being the tallest building in Hong Kong, it was also the first composite space frame high-rise building. A small observation deck on the 43rd floor of the building is open to the public.

The structural expressionism adopted in the design of this building resembles growing bamboo shoots, symbolising livelihood and prosperity. The whole structure is supported by the five steel columns at the corners of the building, with the triangular frameworks transferring the weight of the structure onto these five columns. It is covered with glass curtain walls. While its distinctive look makes it one of Hong Kong's most identifiable landmarks today, it was the source of some controversy at one time, as the bank is the only major building in Hong Kong to have bypassed the convention of consulting with feng shui masters on matters of design prior to construction.

The building has been criticised by some practitioners of Feng Shui for its sharp edges and its negative symbolism by the numerous 'X' shapes in its original design, though Pei modified the design to some degree before construction following this feedback. The building's profile from some angles resembles that of a meat cleaver.

The building was initially built by the Hong Kong Branch of the Bank of China; its Garden Road entrance continues to display the name "Bank of China", rather than BOCHK. The top four and the bottom 19 stories are used by the Bank, while the other floors are leased out. Ownership has since been transferred to BOCHK, although the Bank of China has leased back several floors for use by its own operations in Hong Kong.

The Government had apparently given preferential treatment to Chinese companies, and was again criticised for the apparent preferential treatment to the BOCHK.

The price paid was half the amount of the 6,250 m² Admiralty II plot, for which the MTR Corporation paid HK$1.82 billion in cash. The BOC would make initial payment of $60 million, with the rest payable over 13 years at 6% interest. The announcement of the sale was also poorly handled, and a dive in business confidence ensued. The Hang Seng Index fell 80 points, and the HK$ lost 1.5% of its value the next day.


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Building Activity

  • Justin Scaparro
    Justin Scaparro commented
    I have been in love with this building since the first time I saw it in a book. Hope I get to see it in person one day!
    about 5 years ago via Mobile
  • updated 2 digital references
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • Katerina Vaseva
    Katerina Vaseva updated
    about 5 years ago via
  • Davy Miller
    Davy Miller commented
    This is one of my all time favourite buildings in the world !
    about 5 years ago via iPhone
  • vincenttml
    vincenttml commented
    about 6 years ago via iPhone