Posts Tagged ‘hong kong’

Looking toward Hong Kong

Monday, January 23rd, 2012

We arrived late at night in Shenzhen’s Yantian area, which is along the beach facing Kowloon (Hong Kong’s “new territories”). This is where our client has its headquarters (Vanke Center).

Looking out from our hotel in this resort area were several huge colorful dancing figures placed on the beach with Hong Kong in the background. These were very well designed, giving a festive character to the beach. They were quite wonderful in terms of color and graceful positions.

This area of town had other sculptures interspersed in the entertainment district, but none were as good as these. The city is making an effort to create a true resort feeling in this otherwise benign urban area.

The tower is a major visual focus, and the new year ribbons at the base were great. Mac and I stopped to make write some wishes on them for our friends, family, and business. However, as we traveled upward, the messy condition were visible. The elevator floor was falling apart and rust was everywhere. At the terminus was the typical vendor drawing people’s pictures. Of course, he wanted to do mine since I was so “special.” There were some funny signs, and also a tacky shop selling all kinds of merchandise and blocking the vista. Overlooking that, it was a great experience.

 

 

Modernism, Nature and Markets

Wednesday, May 5th, 2010

Hong Kong is a confluence of modernism, nature, and markets. I was there a few weeks ago to give a talk at Hong Kong Polytechnic University’s graduate program in design. I was absolutely blown away by the energy, excitement, and, although I should have expected it, the sheer number of people.

As I descended into the city I saw the hills of the mainland. I pass the cranes at the harbors, which are some of the busiest in the world. It’s amazing how many cranes there are.

Hong Kong proper is an island that is packed tightly with high-rises, including iconic builidings by IM PEI, Cesar Pelli, Norman Foster (HSBC), and the Bank of China. The other buildings are just “filler.”

I took the tram to the top of the mountain to look over Hong Kong and over towards Kowloon (a mainland area of Hong Kong), which, at this time, was overcast and there wasn’t much to be seen. However, I did see a magical light being thrown on Kowloon iconic KPF tower. It was dramatic and inspiring.

The metro system in Hong Kong is quite good, but many stand in line to catch the ferry instead since the metro is so packed. That’s where I probably caught my bronchitis. Serves me right, too, since I was making fun of the folks with masks walking around the city.

Hong Kong has always been a center for commerce, an island both literally and figuratively, seated next to the People’s Republic of China. The signs are the most amazing feature as their light projects off buildings and over the road to brighten up the streetscape during the night. New LED technology sits on buildings while the original neon sign continues to be part of the vibrant streetscape.

The entertainment hub of Hollywood Avenue has many new restaurants with great interiors facing the pedestrian streets. This area has many galleries and some unique shows. The shops are filled with shark fins and other unfamiliar fish parts packaged or dried. There are many tranditional Chinese medicine shops and just about anything is available in the other stores.

I’ll post more thoughts about my latest trip as time allows, but for now, enjoy the pictures.