On a small, sloped and congested inland site, the client requested a distinctive regional headquarters with an imposing banking hall and 1.4 million square feet of office space. It was implicitly understood that the new building needed to be tall for recognition on Hong Kong’s dense skyline – and to prevail over the nearby Hong Kong Shanghai Bank, the most expensive building in the world, built as a lasting tribute before the British relinquished sovereignty over Hong Kong in 1997. BOC’s tower was to symbolize the emergence of modern China in international finance. The challenge was to execute the landmark tower in a typhoon zone with a limited budget of US$130 million. The tour de force solution is an inseparable integration of engineering and pure architectural form.
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