Shepherd Entertainment takes you on a tour of Hong Kong Island, an island in the southern part of the Hong Kong Special Administrative
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Behind the main harbor of the island, several tall skyscrapers define the landscape. The dawn of the postmodern style brought the reformation of the tower block building making it a complex architectural vision instead of a simple engineering task. In these years, the struggle in Hong Kong between the Anglo-Saxon and Chinese identities became stronger and at the same time, the city enjoyed immense wealth and architects’ assignments became a key factor for both the political and business points of view. It was in this race that Hong Kong was enriched by the two iconic bank buildings that are now taught at all technical universities. The city was especially lucky because the attention to global politics economic prosperity, architectural style and technical innovations all came together at the same time. The Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation or HSBC was established almost 150 years ago at the beginning of the colonist era. In 1980, they decided to completely renew their headquarters. One of the most prestigious British architects, the designer of the extension to the Royal Academy In London, Norman Foster was commissioned to create a whole new building at the given location. The new bank center was built in less than four years and became the most expensive bank building of the world. The building resembles the Centre Pompidou in Paris designed by Piano Rogers. Forster didn’t hide the aluminum covered steel structure. Instead, he deliberately emphasized it. The façade reflects the inner management function based layout of the tower building in a spectacular way giving the building overlooking the bay a unique rhythm. All this has made the building an integral part of the city. The external highlighting of the structure, the dull aluminum cover, the relatively humble height of the building conveyed a message. This workplace is an engineering marvel and since there aren’t any structural elements in the inner areas, it also has a lot of natural light. Thus it propagates the ambitious diligent working morale of Hong Kong. The HSBC building had barely been finished when competition already surfaced. Its rival became none other than the People’s Republic of China that was preparing to take over the control of the city. In 1990, only five years after the erection of the Foster building, the amazing building of the Bank of China was handed over, only a few blocks away. This building is almost twice as high as the HSBC tower and has only been surpassed in height by the immigration tower in the city. The glass prisms of the American architect are excellent for sightseeing and we could take the elevator to the observation terrace of the 70 storey building. In a place with so many tower blocks, there are lots of places to take in the bird’s eye view. A different sight can be seen from the top of the HSBC and the IFC. Baker Plantation, Lugarn and Harledge roads all offer excellent views but perhaps the most beautiful panorama can been from the observation deck of the Peak Tower.