Sunning Plaza, located in the prime Causeway Bay shopping district of Hong Kong, included a 30-story office building joined underground to an adjacent 18-story apartment building and retail podium. The notched office tower was notable for its early regional use of reflective glass in a curtain wall system “hung” on the building’s structural frame; the practice was soon followed by other buildings. Also distinctive was Pei’s creation of public space. Typical of his balanced approach to design, but unusual in densely developed Hong Kong, was the carving out of an open plaza between the two towers – a public refuge in the heart of the city – and encircling the complex with widened tree-lined sidewalks. Such amenities were considered “waste space” in other high-rise towers designed for maximum square footage.
Sunning Plaza was the first of only two buildings by I.M. Pei in Hong Kong; it was completed just months before planning commenced for the Bank of China Tower. In 2013, Sunning Plaza was demolished to make way for a bigger, more profitable office and retail development.
Design Team: I.M. Pei, Design Partner; Ralph Heisel, Design Architect
I.M. Pei & Partners