The site’s prominence, immediately adjacent to the future West Kowloon Cultural District and next to Victoria Harbour, required a design which was completely motivated by civic demand. Enriching the challenge was the reality that there would be 400,000 sq m of commercial development on top of the station which would be auctioned off to a developer in a later date.
As the ‘gateway’ to Hong Kong, it was considered vital to connect the station with the surrounding urban context and make one aware that whether arriving or departing – ‘You are in Hong Kong’. In order to do this, the design compacted all of the supporting spaces to allow for a very large void down into the departure hall. The result is a 45 m high volume which focuses all toward views of the Hong Kong skyline and Victoria Peak beyond.
The organisation of the design was inspired by converging forces all oriented toward Hong Kong - likened to the converging tracks coming into the terminus station itself. The culturally district of WKCD is invited into the site. A large ‘civic square’ opens up toward the cultural district and is defined on the other side with its own amphitheatre. The pedestrian flow into this amphitheater, continues up, accessing almost the entire roof top of the station itself in a highly vegetated sculpture garden and landscaped extension of the green below.
The culminations of these moves find themselves at an observation deck on top of the crest of the entrance building. At the top there is the perfect overlook into and beyond the WKCD, Victoria Harbour and the tower filled alleyways of Hong Kong.