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Old July 23rd, 2009, 08:08 PM   #1
hkskyline
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HONG KONG | Opus Hong Kong (53 Stubbs Road) | 12 fl | Com

8 September 2008
Press Release
Swire Properties Retains Frank Gehry for Stubbs Road Development
First Asian Residential Project for Pritzker prize winning Architect


Swire Properties today announces that it has commissioned Gehry Partners, the firm led by the Pritzker prize winning architect Frank Gehry, as Design Architect for its planned prime residential development at 53 Stubbs Road.

Guy Bradley, Director and General Manager of Swire Properties, says that the commissioning of such a distinguished architect reinforces the company’s brand philosophy of creating distinctive and innovative developments.

“Swire Properties is delighted to be the first to bring Frank Gehry’s exceptional talent to Hong Kong,” Mr. Bradley says. “Together we look forward to creating a truly exciting architectural design, befitting this unique site and Hong Kong as a world class city.”

The renowned architect expresses his delight in this collaboration with Swire Properties and the prospects offered by the site at 53 Stubbs Road. “This is our first residential project in Asia, and we are very excited with the challenges and the possibilities,” says Mr. Gehry, who has been working on the project with his Hong Kong born partner Edwin Chan.. “This extraordinary location, with its vista of spectacular views across Victoria Harbour, offers a unique opportunity to create a very special architectural presence. Gehry Partners is wholly committed to a design that will reflect Swire Properties’ philosophy of delivering truly inspirational living.”

Supplementary Information

• The site: Situated at 53 Stubbs Road, Mid Levels, the site enjoys sweeping views over Victoria Harbour. Swire Group purchased the site in 1920s, and built the first residence of the Group Director there in the 1940s. It will be developed into a single, 12-storey residential building with a target completion date of 2011.

GEHRY PARTNERS
FRANK GEHRY

Noted architecture critic Paul Goldberger once wrote that Frank Gehry’s “buildings are powerful essays in primal geometric form and... materials, and from an aesthetic standpoint they are among the most profound and brilliant works of architecture of our time.”

Raised in Toronto, Canada, Frank Gehry received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California in 1954, and later studied City Planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. His architectural career spans more than four decades, and has produced public and private buildings in America, Europe and Asia. His work has also won numerous significant awards, including the Pritzker Architecture Prize, the Arnold W. Brunner Memorial Prize in Architecture, the Wolf Prize in Art (Architecture), the Praemium Imperiale Award, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Award, the National Medal of Arts, the Friedrich Kiesler Prize, the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal, and the Royal Institute of British Architects Gold Medal.

Current projects include the Lou Ruvo Alzheimer Center in Las Vegas, Nevada; the Princeton Science Library in Princeton, New Jersey; the Hall Winery in Napa Valley, California; and the Puente de Vida Museo in Panama City, Panama.

Notable past achievements include: the Hotel Marqués de Riscal in Elciego, Spain; the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Bilbao, Spain; the DZ Bank Building adjacent to the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany; Der Neue Zollhof, an office complex in Düsseldorf, Germany; the Experience Music Project in Seattle, Washington; the Bard College Performing Arts Center in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York; the Peter B. Lewis Campus of the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio; the Jay Pritzker Pavilion and BP Bridge in Millennium Park in Chicago, Illinois; Maggie’s Centre, a cancer patient care center in Dundee, Scotland; the Frederick R. Weisman Art Museum at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota; the University of Toledo Center for the Visual Arts in Toledo, Ohio; and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 08:09 PM   #2
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... man you're digging articles from 2008?
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 08:11 PM   #3
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Dang... too bad it's only 12 stories tall!
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 08:15 PM   #4
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Well it's on Stubbs Road and higher than Highcliff... would look pretty odd at 12 storeys already anyway!
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Old July 24th, 2009, 08:19 PM   #5
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ooo icic. well it's been almost a year no renders?
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Old July 24th, 2009, 08:38 PM   #6
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Yes - I haven't seen a rendering on the developer's website, and Gehry's website has very little information.
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Old September 15th, 2009, 08:41 PM   #7
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Rendering
Source : http://www.csbl.com.au/hongkong1.html

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Old September 16th, 2009, 04:23 PM   #8
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That's...erm..interesting, certainly.
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Old November 9th, 2009, 05:14 PM   #9
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Gehry lifts veil on first Asia homes
30 September 2009
SCMP

Acclaimed architect Frank Gehry is bringing his design to Hong Kong's skyline for the first time - and it could become the city's most expensive block of rental flats.

Revealing his design at a press conference yesterday, the 80-year-old architect said a bauhinia flower shape will mark the floor plan of the 12-storey building at 53 Stubbs Road, his first residential project in Asia.

In the form of a turning spiral, the building will have only one flat on each floor, each as big as 6,000 sq ft, a rare size for the city.

The advantage of the flower design is that it would give views in many directions and make each flat distinctive, he said. Gehry said he found inspiration in Asian philosophy, which looked for subtlety and beauty in nature, as well as from ideas of his local-born partner, Edwin Chan.

The Mid-Levels site, which has a panoramic harbour view, used to be the residence of the managing director of Taikoo Dockyard after Swire Group bought it in the 1940s.

His special designs were not expensive to build, said the architect, who has a reputation for meeting clients' budgets.

"It's not that the curves cost a lot of money. That's totally untrue," Gehry said, citing a Berlin bank building which cost US$600 per square foot to build. "Costs of my designs are modest and appropriate for the market." However, his client Swire Properties is planning to market the tower as one of the most expensive rental apartment blocks in town.

The company's chief executive, Martin Cubbon, said the property, when completed in 2011, may come with record-high rents. He did not give the construction cost, and said the rents would depend on the future market situation.

The target tenants will be a mix of senior executives, expatriates, mainland investors and "Hong Kong people if they are wealthy enough", Cubbon said.

There was no official record of the most expensive rental properties in the industry, said Charles Chan Chiu-kwok, managing director of Savills Valuation and Professional Services. The Four Seasons Place serviced apartments, which rented for about HK$80 per square foot, are considered the highest in recent years.

The property on Stubbs Road will make the most of the view by putting the swimming pool on the rooftop.

The building will be ringed by verandahs for ventilation, a design addressing the city's hot and humid weather. There will be no structural walls inside the flats, allowing for a flexible layout, and the tower will be supported by external columns that resemble bamboo. A lot of wood would be used for the interior decor, Gehry said.

He was awarded one of the world's premier architecture honours, the Prizker Prize, in 1989, and is best known for his work at the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall.

"People like me who live in the US, everybody is very depressed. Everybody thinks it's the end of the world. It's nice to come here and find people optimistic, and life goes on," he said.

He said he was also interested in the West Kowloon Cultural District. Gehry was one of the 12 architects who submitted a conceptual design for the arts hub earlier this year, but his design was not selected for the final round.

Asked whether he would take part in the design competitions for individual arts venues of the arts hub, he said: "It depends. I am 80 years old. I don't like competitions."
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Old November 10th, 2009, 07:55 AM   #10
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Family hiking in Hong Kong

The Family Tall went out for our first hike of the 2007-08 season last Saturday morning, and in the flurry of preparations required for hiking with a five-year-old, I was reminded of both how easy it is to get out on Hong Kong’s hiking trails, but also of why it’s just enough trouble that surprisingly few people actually do it.

So my purpose today is to try to pass along a few tips that might make it more feasible to get out and about on family hikes in Hong Kong. Longer, more ambitious hikes for all grown-ups we’ll leave for other times.

So how do we go about planning our family hikes?

As our own dear mothers no doubt reminded all of us, ‘Safety first’! While we’re actually hiking, Mrs Tall and I are careful to keep Daughter Tall close by us, and to make sure she’s taking a hand or is otherwise supported on the rougher bits of the trail.
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Old December 8th, 2009, 04:50 AM   #11
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Architecture Firms Go East For Work
22 October 2009
(From THE WALL STREET JOURNAL) By Maura Webber Sadovi

Even as many building sites have been idled world-wide in the wake of the financial crisis, construction workers are expected to start work next year on the foundation of a 123-story tapered glass tower in Seoul that is vying to become South Korea's tallest building.

The project could still run into delays. But if it proceeds on schedule, the 1,821-foot Lotte Super Tower 123 would be the latest example of Asian projects that are providing a financial lifeline to U.S. architectural firms facing one of the worst markets for their services in generations.

Valued at $1.2 billion, the mixed-use tower being developed and built by Lotte Group, a South Korean conglomerate, was designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates. The prominent U.S. firm pared its staff to about 500 from a peak of 700 before the downturn through layoffs, attrition and the departure of some principals and staffers from its London office. But the firm is once again in a hiring mode thanks in part to its work in Asia, firm officials say.

'It's the toughest economy I've, seen but what's different for us is we're global,' says A. Eugene Kohn, KPF's chairman and a co-founder of the firm in New York in 1976. 'That's saved us.'

KPF also designed the Shanghai World Financial Center in China and the Northeast Asia Trade Tower under construction in Songdo, a city within a city near Seoul's international airport that is one of the world's largest commercial developments.

This year KPF signed new contracts for work that included roughly a dozen projects in China, about four in the U.S., three each in South Korea and India, about two each in Abu Dhabi and Qatar and one in Japan, according to Peter Catalano, the firm's chief financial officer. The Lotte tower was among its largest wins -- in terms of value and height.

Asia also is luring other leading U.S. architecture firms. In September, Pritzker Prize winning architect Frank Gehry unveiled his design for 53 Stubbs Road in Hong Kong, his first residential development in Asia which consists of 12 residences overlooking Victoria Harbour.

Gensler, another large U.S. firm, opened an office this year in Beijing and designed the 128-story Shanghai Tower in China, which had its official groundbreaking last November. 'Asian clients are taking the risk of moving forward because they believe in the economy,' says Andy Cohen, executive director at Gensler.

To be sure, the architectural industry is still suffering. Total annual gross billings for U.S. architectural firms are expected to be down by about 20% to 25% this year from about $44.3 billion last year, according to Kermit Baker, the American Institute of Architects' chief economist. Even before the crisis, U.S. architectural firms had begun to look abroad for more of their work. International revenue accounted for about 7% of total U.S. gross billings in 2008, up from 2.8% a decade earlier.

Mr. Baker credits Asia's faster-growing economies and populations for that continent's relatively strong demand for architecture services. South Korea's gross domestic product rose about 2.3% in the second quarter compared with the first, while the U.S. had a slight decline, according to Moody's Economy.com.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 10:24 AM   #12
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Property boom, architects' dream
18 December 2009
China Daily - Hong Kong Edition

HONG KONG: When Jean Nouvel, the French architect who won the industry's highest honor the 2008 Pritzker Prize, was asked about the limitation of Hong Kong architecture, a puzzled look flashed across his face.

"I have been asked this question all the time since I arrived. I don't understand why Hong Kong people think this place is boring," said Nouvel after a presentation during Business of Design Week (Bodw) 2009 earlier this month. "I think Hong Kong is already a world-class city. Look at your airport! Look outside the window!" he gushed.

Nouvel, who created the legendary Agbar Tower in Barcelona, put down a glass of water and pointed at the skyline outside Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, dotted with cranes along the Wan Chai reclamation area.

"It is so energetic!" He remarked, effusively, adding, "You already have Norman Forster, I.M Pei, Frank Gehry. You have so many masterpieces to be proud of!"

It seems many other guest speakers shared the same feeling in this year's Bodw - an annual festival at which internationally renowned design professionals and businessman network and schmooze - where epithets like "energetic", "promising", "optimistic" lubricate conversations describing the city's look.

Architects are always the first to feel the "optimism" of the property market, so it is no surprise that many legendary architects are tapping into Hong Kong at a time when the real estate industry is heating up. The transactions of first-hand luxury properties recorded a 14-year high in the first 11 months of this year, according to data from Centaline Property Agency.

Barrie Ho, a famous architect who is the Founder of Barrie Ho Architecture Interiors, once said that the city's art of architecture was limited by its nature conditions.

He believes that because of Hong Kong's large population and geographical limitations, urban buildings are inevitably high-density skyscrapers, and that the developers' preference for this form will stifle architectural creativity.

However, as competition intensifies, developers and buyers alike are increasingly aware that adding design elements is a major trend and a way to add to the value of the property, allowing developers to sell flats at a premium price.

For instance, Swire Properties has brought Frank Gehry, the designer of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, to the city. Gehry has designed a blooming-petal-shaped luxury residence at 53 Stubbs Road - overlooking Victoria Harbour, which is expected to be completed in 2011.

The company hasn't disclosed the exact cost for designing the house, but people familiar with the case estimated the fee would be no less than $2.8 million.

However, Swire believes every dollar has been well spent. "In terms of rent, this project could be the next 'most expensive apartment' in Hong Kong," Swire Properties Chief Executive Martin Cubbon told China Daily.

"Today's consumers are becoming more sophisticated, and they are aware of what benefits a thoughtfully planned and well-designed building can bring," Mr. Cubbon said. "To achieve the quality we are committed to, certain levels of investment in terms of time and other resources are necessary."

Local designers are also contributing to this exciting trend. The recently launched Upper House, the first property of Swire Hotels, was left in the hands of Hong Kong's Cambridge educated interior designer Andre Fu.

This hotel, which took Fu four years to create, was likened by him to his own house - since the developer gave him a lot of freedom to let his taste dictate the design. He participated in almost every aspect of the creative process, ranging from the selection of background music to the choice of graphics on the wall, giving the hotel and its neighborhood a very special sense of space.

As the property market gathered momentum and design became a key element, the number of people working for architectural and related consulting companies surged by 30 percent last year.

Ironically, bumps in the overseas markets could have a negative impact on Hong Kong's architectural scene. Eighty percent of projects in Dubai have been suspended due to its debt crisis, which will affect five or six big Hong Kong architectural firms in Dubai, resulting in large-scale lay-offs.

More than 200 architects are on their way back to Hong Kong, and many are worrying about the looming competition for jobs.

"It is the second wave of retreat since the financial crisis, but we think they could be absorbed by the market," said Anna Kwong, President of Hong Kong Institution of Architecture, who believes there are lots of opportunities brought by the mainland and Macao, where quite a number of projects have been "taken out of the refrigerator".

"There will be a steady growth in the next two years," Ms Kwong said, adding, "Because of the government's support and the city's close tie with the mainland and Macao, architects can find more opportunities here."

As for the prospects for growth for young architects, Ms Kwong said most Western architectural masters working in Hong Kong would like to team up with local firms in order to understand the city's cultural context and construction policies, which means local architects could participate in the design process. "This is the best education for our young architects," Ms Kwong said.
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Old February 4th, 2010, 08:17 PM   #13
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I love Gehry's projects!
Any U/C pictures?







http://www.coinsglobal.com/hongkong1.html
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Old March 15th, 2010, 06:08 PM   #14
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Swire Properties: No Longer Actively Considering Mall REIT
29 September 2009

HONG KONG (Dow Jones)--Property-to-aviation conglomerate Swire Pacific Ltd. (0019.HK) is no longer actively considering setting up a mall property trust, the chief executive of the firm's property unit said Tuesday.

'It has been, I'll say, put on the backburner...Not forgotten, but not under active consideration,' said Martin Cubbon, chief executive of Swire Properties Ltd.

'Basically we don't think we'd get a fair value if we were to list one of our shopping malls or more of our shopping malls in a real estate investment trust.'

In early 2008, local newspapers reported Swire Properties was considering setting up a real estate investment trust for a city shopping mall.

Swire Pacific owns a variety of Hong Kong commercial complexes, such as Festival Walk in Kowloon and Pacific Place in Admiralty. The average occupancy rate of the company's office portfolio is 97% and that of its retail portfolio is 100%, Cubbon said.

'The most encouraging news, I think, for Hong Kong generally is the pickup in retail activity seen in the last six weeks,' he said.

Office rents have found some measure of stability, but they are still some 20% down from their peak in 2008, he said.

Swire Pacific is scheduled to complete a luxury residential project at 53 Stubbs Road on The Peak in 2011.

The project, with only 12 residences measuring 6,000 square feet each, is located on the site of the former residence of the managing director of the Taikoo Dockyard, Cubbon said. The residences will be up for lease rather than for sale, he added.

Asked about the possibility of a bubble forming in Hong Kong's property market, Cubbon said the market is dynamic, fueled by relatively tight supply and the strong buying power of affluent people from mainland China.

'The dynamics are all very, very positive. It's hard to see there being an enormous correction,' he said.

Observers have raised concerns about bubbles in Hong Kong's real estate market, especially since two penthouse units at a luxury condominium known as the Cullinan were put on the market earlier this month at US$38.7 million apiece, or about US$9,675 a square foot.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 12:44 AM   #15
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I hate Gehry buildings. I hope none gets build anywhere, especially in Hong Kong. It maybe art. Then put it in museums, or galleries. Don't force people to have to look at it.
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Old March 22nd, 2010, 05:33 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkia View Post
I hate Gehry buildings. I hope none gets build anywhere, especially in Hong Kong. It maybe art. Then put it in museums, or galleries. Don't force people to have to look at it.
So do you prefer the boring commieblocks instead of this?
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Old October 2nd, 2010, 12:58 PM   #17
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The rendering posted by China Daily :

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Old December 13th, 2010, 07:55 AM   #18
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Old December 13th, 2010, 02:31 PM   #19
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Cool building! Gehry does have a habit of copy and paste though.
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Old December 25th, 2010, 04:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ribarca View Post
Cool building! Gehry does have a habit of copy and paste though.
Agreed - the first time he showcased his design it was innovative and different. But every subsequent design repeats itself.
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