Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong

Infobox Skyscraper
building_name = Bank of China Tower
中銀大廈


caption = The Bank of China Tower by day
year_highest =
year_end =
plural =
location = Flagicon|Hong Kong Hong Kong
coordinates = coord|22|16|45|N|114|09|41|E|region:HK_type:landmark|display=inline,title
status =
groundbreaking = 18 April, 1985
constructed = 1985–1990
est_completion =
opening = 17 May, 1990
demolished =
destroyed =
use =
antenna_spire = convert|367.4|m|ft|1|abbr=on
roof = convert|305.0|m|ft|1|abbr=on
top_floor = convert|288.2|m|ft|1|abbr=on
floor_count =

Above ground
72
Basement floors
4

elevator_count = 45
cost =
floor_area = convert|135000|m2|sqft|abbr=on
architect = I. M. Pei & Partners, Sherman Kung & Associates Architects Ltd.
engineer = Leslie E. Robertson Associates RLLP
contractor = HKC (Holdings) LimitedFact|date=September 2007 (Kumagai HK)
developer =
owner =
management =
references = cite web
url = http://skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=13
title = Bank of China Tower - SkyscraperPage.com
accessdate = 2007-09-13
] cite web
url = http://www.emporis.com/en/wm/bu/?id=bankofchinatower-hongkong-china
title = Bank of China Tower - www.emporis.com
accessdate = 2007-09-13
]

The Bank of China Tower (abbreviated BOC Tower; zh-t|t=中銀大廈) is one of the most recognized skyscrapers in Central, Hong Kong. It houses the headquarters for the Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited. The building is located at 1 Garden Road, in Central and Western District on Hong Kong Island.cite web
url = http://www.bochk.com/web/common/multi_section.xml?section=about&level_2=boc_tower&fldr_id=326
title = Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited - About Us > About BOC Tower > Introduction
accessdate = 2008-03-29
]

Designed by I. M. Pei, the building is convert|305|m|ft|1|abbr=on high with two masts reaching convert|367.4|m|ft|1|abbr=on 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 third tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong, after Two International Finance Centre and Central Plaza.Fact|date=March 2008

Plot history

The 6,700 site on which the building is constructed was formerly the location of Murray House. After its brick-by-brick relocation to Stanley, the site was sold by the Government for "only HK$1 billion" in August 1982 amidst growing concern over the future of Hong Kong in the run-up to the transfer of sovereignty.

Once developed, gross floor area was expected to be 100,000 m².Philip Bowring & Mary Lee, [http://sunzi1.lib.hku.hk/newspaper/view/25_01.02/19852.pdf Dear friends...] , pg 114 Far Eastern Economic Review, 13-Aug-1982] The original project was intended for completion on the auspicious date of August 8, 1988. However, owing to project delays, groundbreaking took place in March 1989, almost two years late. It was topped out in 1989, and occupied in May 1990.

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.Fact|date=November 2007

Favoritism controversy

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.

Design and feng shui

Designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect I. M. Pei, the building is 305.0 metres (1,000.7 ft) high with two masts reaching 367.4 metres (1,205.4 ft) high. The 72 story building is located near Central MTR station. This was the tallest building in Hong Kong and Asia from 1989 to 1992, the first building outside the United States to break the 305 m (1,000 ft) mark, and the first composite space frame high-rise building. That also means it was the tallest outside America from its completion year, 1990. It is now the third tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong, after Two International Finance Center and Central Plaza.

A small observation deck on the 43rd floor of the building is open to the public; visits to the main observation deck on the 70th floor are by appointment only.

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. In Feng Shui, this is described as a "cleaver building" and it is not difficult to observe that it is facing the HSBC Hong Kong headquarters building in this guise.Fact|date=November 2007

Cultural references

The BOC Tower's bold futuristic design has made it into popular culture. It is the only Hong Kong landmark included in the city-building/simulation computer games "SimCity 3000" and "SimCity 4". The digitally modified facade of the building is featured in the science fiction television series "" as the Starfleet "Communications Research Center".

See also

* Bank of China Building, the old headquarters of the Bank of China
* List of buildings and structures in Hong Kong
* List of skyscrapers
* List of towers
* List of tallest freestanding structures in the world
* List of the world's tallest structures

References

External links

* [http://www.bochk.com/web/common/multi_section.xml?section=about&level_2=boc_tower&fldr_id=326 About BOC Tower] on Bank of China (Hong Kong) website
* [http://www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Bank_of_China.html Great Buildings Online site on BOC Tower]
*
* [http://www.skyscraperpage.com/cities/?buildingID=13 Skyscraperpage.com: Bank of China Tower]
* [http://skyscrapermodels.us/models/Bank_China_HKC.html Buildable paper model of the tower]


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