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Randle Siddeley were commissioned to provide an edge cutting landscape scheme for Swire’s flagship commercial development in Kowloon Bay. The site is within an area targeted by the Hong Kong Government to create a “walkable Central Business District”, of which part of the open area falls within the proposed Green Spine Strategy (‘GO2’ link) to facilitate pedestrian flow through the area.
The developer’s vision is to create a unified signature development of both exterior architecture and the landscape open space which ‘weaves work, life and play together’. Responding to the brief, Randle Siddeley’s design scheme involves the creation of a vibrant ambiance in an urban setting for the officer-goers as well as the local residents. The landscape scheme builds on a strong concept that complements the footprint of the architecture, and hence creates spaces that are of a unifying structure and a dynamic ground plane. The main landscape elements are:
- An Entrance Piazza that highlights the building frontage with a clean and simple design;
- A series of seating nodes and pockets that provides sheltered seating spaces set back from the busy pedestrian routes;
- A busy and vibrant Central Plaza that accommodates an iconic water feature as the main attraction;
- A tree lined ‘GO2’ link that enhance the green connection to the wider green network; and
- A sheltered Al Fresco dining area that is screened by feature trees. A green oasis in which to enjoy food and drink.
Planting plays a major role in this scheme. Not only does it provide an interesting setting to the landscape, it also helps screen out unsightly views of the industrial buildings in the neighbourhood. The simple tree planting palette consists of Albizia, the Persian Silk Tree, Bauhinia, the emblem of Hong Kong, together with a careful selection of evergreen trees to acts as visual screens and sun shelters. They are underplanted with flowering and evergreen shrubs to add fragrance and structure, with meandering streams of grasses that punctuated with rich purple salvias and bright pink lythrum, and at the same time interspersed with a rich palette of herbaceous perennials that gives colours and movements.
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