Cheung Kong CenterEdit profile
Cheung Kong Center (Chinese: 長江集團中心) is a skyscraper in Central, Hong Kong designed by Cesar Pelli. It is 62 storeys tall with height of 283 m (928 ft) and a gross floor area of 1,260,000-square-foot (117,100 m2). When completed in 1999, it was the third-tallest building in the city. It sits on the combined sites of the former Hong Kong Hilton, which was demolished in 1995/6, and Beaconsfield House, sold by the Government in 1996. It stands between the HSBC Hong Kong headquarters building and the Bank of China Tower. As is common in Hong Kong, coloured lights on the sides of the building illuminate at night in intricate light shows.
The building is the headquarters of Cheung Kong Holdings, and managed by its partly owned subsidiary Hutchison Whampoa, while other tenants include several multinational banking firms.Development and land purchase
The 26-storey Hilton Hotel building was owned by Hutchison Whampoa, who licensed Hilton Hotels Group to operate it for 50 years. In January 1994, with about 20 years of the management contract to run, Hutchison announced the buyout of the unexpired term for US$125 million.
Cheung Kong had originally planned to redevelop the Hilton site into a high-rise office-retail complex, yielding a gross floor area of about 600,000-square-foot (55,700 m2). CKH was keen to enlarge the redevelopment project by merging the hotel site with a neighbouring site to gain a greater efficiency, and commenced private talks with the Government in May 1993 with a view to acquiring the adjacent 33,700-square-foot (3,100 m2) Government car park site, and the 18,300-square-foot (1,700 m2) Beaconsfield House site. Talks were finalised in August 1995.
Executive Council has approved the sale of the sites in April 1995, for a land premium in excess of HK$5.5 billion.
In September 1995, the Planning authorities passed the proposals for the 9,900 m² combined site. With a plot ratio of 15, 1,600,000 sq ft (149,000 m2) building (including the 1000-space car park) could be built. The developer agreed with the planners that most of the building would actually be weighted on the Hilton site, so much of the car park and Beaconsfield house area would be given over to park and public amenities.Building design
The Cheung Kong Center is somewhat unusual in the Hong Kong Island skyline, being one of the few taller buildings to follow a conventional design like an American black office block, in contrast to the cacophony of architectural styles that had gathered along that section of Queens Road. However, it was not aimed at stealing the limelight, most notably from the Bank of China Tower, rather it is intended to balance out its neighbouring skyscrapers. A a feng shui master was consulted on ways to absorb the negative energy coming from the Bank of China's sharp edges or "cleaver". The Cheung Kong Center's maximum height was determined by drawing an imaginary line from the Bank of China Tower to the HSBC Headquarters, so it falls just short of the "supertall" skyscraper distinction (300 meters or higher).
Its external walls are uniform glass panels each measuring 2.4 m x 2.1 m, giving occupants a 360-degree panoramic view over the entire city. The same panels are impregnated with an array of optical fibre which can be illuminated at night to display different messages according to the season. The black curtain wall gives the building an appearance of a silhouette in the daytime and an inky peaceful void at night, so it is noted for its sparkling illumination as the sky gets dark.
Its large floor plates range from 20,000 sq ft (1,900 m2) to 22,000 sq ft (2,000 m2). Tenants can customise an entire office plan at very little expense, as there are no obstructing columns on the floor plan. Offices are all designed with the advanced raised floor system through which air-conditioning and an advanced fibre-optic network accessible to all tenants is ducted.
It boasts the region's fastest state of the art elevators, made by Mitsubishi, maxing out at 9 metres per second. Each elevator features giant plasma displays at the top of each cabin, showing Bloomberg TV.
It is one of many skyscrapers and giant structures worldwide that have been climbed by Alain Robert, the Frenchman known as "Spiderman". He has climbed the building twice, most recently on 17 February 2009.Tenants
The skyscraper is the headquarters of Cheung Kong Holdings, and managed by its partly owned subsidiary Hutchison Whampoa. The top floor is used by Cheung Kong's' Chairman, Li Ka Shing, as his residence. Li is often seen escorted and takes a freight elevator operated in attendant mode so that it does not stop on any other floor.
Other tenants of the building include Allianz, Barclays Capital, Bloomberg, CIBC World Markets, Fortis, Goldman Sachs, McKinsey & Co., PricewaterhouseCoopers, Royal Bank of Canada, RBS, and Simmons & Simmons.
Goldman Sachs (Asia) is reported to have signed a 12-year lease on eight-and-a-half office floors, becoming the leading tenant. Hutchison is believed to have offered up to two- and-a-half years rent-free period.