In Hong Kong, a city known for its glass curtainwall office towers, 50 Connaught Road stands out with simplified classical detailing rendered in limestone, a material that takes the light in a way that glass never does. Our clients asked us to look to Hong Kong's architectural heritage to create a contemporary building that takes its place in the city's unique synthesis of Eastern and Western commercial traditions. 50 Connaught Road provides cutting-edge accommodation comparable to Hong Kong's top-class commercial office structures: the building's value was recently affirmed with its record-setting sale for HK$4.88 billion or HK$248,600 per m2.
The building's facades are organized according to the rules of Western classicism; simplified classical detailing gives the building a dignified yet contemporary character. The base provides a memorable entrance to a 52-foot-high lobby and wide openings for retail—originally conceived as a banking hall but now occupied by the Hong Kong branch of the London gallery White Cube. The shaft is punctuated with shallow triple-height windows that create an intermediate scale and a rich texture for sunlight to play upon. At the top, set-back floors with bay windows take full advantage of the views. The building's bronze and stone crown is a memorable addition to the busy skyline and, when lighted at night, stands out amidst the glassy tops of the building's neighbors.
50 Connaught Road is environmentally responsible, its windows inset to mitigate glare so that the glass can be clearer than typical curtainwall glass. The building also features roofing materials with a high Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) to minimize heat island effect, and water use reduction of 31% through the use of high-efficiency bathroom fixtures and water reuse system. A pioneer of sustainable efforts in the city, 50 Connaught Road is the first completed LEED-certified building in Hong Kong.