Amid the heavy rains of a typhoon in Hong Kong last July, we were very lucky to have had a few moments of clean sky for the photoshoot of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects’ project, 18 King Wah Road.
Located in North Point, the eastern district of Hong Kong Island, 18 King Wah Road is a new 23-story office building in Hong Kong and second commission for Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects. 18 King Wah Road commands a striking view of Victoria Harbor and Kowloon Bay, and to the west, PCPA’s iconic International Financial Centre marks the skyline.
In contrast to the density of its urban neighbors, the design of PCPA’s building is airy and buoyant. The triple-height Y-shaped columns that support the base of the tower deliver an exciting visual on the street, announcing the building’s presence. While solid in breadth, they seem to lift the base effortlessly. Metal fins wrap around the crisp glass and steel curtain wall, creating a lively pattern the full height of the building’s compact vertical massing. Each office floor will have spectacular views of the waterfront, Victoria Harbor and Kowloon Bay.
The project meets Gold Well Building Standards, Platinum Asia Regional Intelligent Green Building, and LEED Platinum. Key environmental concerns such as dense urban congestion and extreme afternoon temperatures are addressed. The curved corners of the building allow air to flow continuously throughout the tightly built-up neighborhood. High-performance metal sunshades wrap the exterior of each floor to minimize the effect of the intense solar rays from overheating the interior spaces. The shades are designed to function specifically to the sun’s orientation. On the north-west corner, they extend outwards and downward to mitigate the harsh afternoon sun. On the south-west corner, a second shade extends out to block the higher angled mid-day sun. Concurrently, this second feature acts as a light-shelf that directs daylight deeper into office interiors, significantly reducing the need for artificial lighting.