Simon Bee shares his thinking on Hong Kong's Site 3 and crafting the world’s best city waterfront

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Contact Simon Bee, 董事总经理 - 环球设计

The Hong Kong government’s announcement this year of the New Central Harbourfront tender now being a two-stage process was commended by many as the right step. But will dividing the site into distinct development phases make it harder to deliver a world class urban destination?

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“The masterplan crafted for Site 3 simply has to be connected social, integrated and smart, to have a chance of completing the jigsaw successfully.”

We at Benoy are pleased by the Hong Kong SAR government’s announcement early this year that the New Central Harbourfront (Site 3) will be tendered via a two-envelope’ approach, wherein proposals will be evaluated based on both design merit and commercial returns. This is in line with both government and public aspirations to deliver a commercially successful and world-class harbourfront as befits Asia’s World City. 

Located at the heart of Central, Site 3 will encompass a total area of 4.75 hectares, with a planning brief that includes a retail and office space development with a maximum total GFA of 150,000 sqm, alongside a well-designed and operable public space with an area of 25,000 sqm accessible to the public at all hours. 

Above and beyond a financially premium offer, the scheme’s innovative design and proper utilization is vital to the site’s future economic development and in setting a new international benchmark for public space usage and pedestrian-oriented connectivity.

In the latest issue of Britain in Hong Kong’, the British Chamber of Commerce in Hong Kong’s bi-monthly magazine, Simon Bee, Managing Director, Global Design at Benoy, posits the economic and social value of an integrated development vs developing discrete parcels, and discusses the opportunities, merits, and challenges in crafting a world’s best’ city waterfront.

Click here to read the full article in the last issue of Britain in Hong Kong’:

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Site 3 Annotated Plan

“The whole district, as well as the new development, would benefit from this seamless multi-level connectivity, with a commensurate increase in footfall driven value, commerce, placemaking and destination creation.”

“Set the bar for design quality too low then all contenders potentially get through to financial envelope stage, which negates the process from a design standpoint – you risk not delivering ‘world class’. Set the bar too high and you may compromise your ability to get a fair price. It is a subtle balance.”