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ZHA designing Hong Kong office block for world’s most expensive site

The Murray Road public car park in Hong Kong sold for record-breaking 2.2 billion in 2017
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Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) is designing an office tower for the world’s most expensive plot of land – a public car park in Hong Kong snapped up for a record-smashing £2.2 billion

The London-based practice is understood to have seen off competition from big-hitters Foster + Partners and OMA to win the ‘prestigious office scheme’ late last year. The tower will be ZHA’s second permanent building in the former British colony.

Henderson Land Development, a property company owned by one of Hong Kong’s wealthiest families, bought the 2,880m² Murray Road multistorey in the business district in 2017 at auction after seeing off eight rival bidders.

The eye-watering price tag for the lot, which works out at £750,000 per square metre, was way above market expectations, even for an area with one of the highest real estate values in the world.

The prime plot is located near a number of iconic office towers, including IM Pei’s 72-storey Bank of China building Cesar Pelli’s 63-storey Cheung Kong Centre and Foster + Partners’ 1985 Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank.

The site was the first commercial land to be sold by Hong Kong’s government in the prime central location since 1996. Henderson plans to turn it into a ‘landmark office building with retail facilities’.

Permission has already been granted to Century Base Development, a subsidiary of Henderson, for a 35-storey office high-rise to be built on the car park site with a maximum floor space of 43,200m² and five basement levels. 

A ZHA spokesman said: ‘ZHA is working with Henderson Land Development to bring forward a prestigious office scheme at No 2 Murray Road on Hong Kong island.

‘The project is due to complete by the third quarter of 2022 and it aims to be an iconic Grade A office building, targeting to be a “green, smart and healthy” development with the relevant highest international accreditations.’

Zaha Hadid, who died in 2016, rose to international prominence after winning a design competition for a Hong Kong project in 1983 - a leisure club called The Peak which never got built.

Zaha hadid the peak

Zaha hadid the peak

In 2007, Hadid was appointed to design a new building on the campus of Hong Kong’s Polytechnic University. The result was the 15-storey Innovation Tower which opened in 2014.

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