Located at #1 Queen's Road Central in Central District, Hong Kong, the HSBC Headquarters building completes the city's famous skyline. It might not be one of the tallest skyscrapers in Hong Kong but it holds the distinction of being the most expensive building in the world when it opened in 1985. It took 8 years and a whooping HK$5.2 billion (US$668 million) to complete.
It is actually the third headquarters building of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation, built on the same spot as the original. The 47-story building was designed by famed architect Sir Norman Foster, whose body of works includes the Hearst Tower in New York City, London's Millennium Bridge, and the Commerzbank Tower in Frankfurt, Germany.
The main characteristic of HSBC Headquarters building is its absence of internal supporting structure. It is made from five steel modules prefabricated in the UK and shipped to Hong Kong. The modular design allows the building to be dismantled and moved, in case there was any possibility of a disrupted handover to the People's Republic of China in 1997.
The building is also known for energy conservation features such as the excellent use of natural light as a major source of illumination. Water from the nearby harbour is also used as coolant for the building's air-conditioning system and to flush toilets.
Feng shui principles were also strictly followed in the design of the building. For instance, the building faces the Victoria Harbour without any obstruction making it one of the most auspicious structures in the area.
At night, the HSBC Building is an integral part of the spectacular Symphony of Lights. The building uses a total of 716 intelligent lighting units, which include 450 colour changing fluorescent fixtures in the glass stairwells, 200 fixtures on five levels, 8 search lights, and over one kilometer of LED lighting around the top of the building for the nightly light extravaganza.
HSBC Headquarters Hong Kong Photos