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TALKING POINTS

One Taikoo Place is just the beginning

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By Arthur Tam

Hong Kong is waking up to Taikoo Place as an office hub with something different to offer. Swire Properties is celebrating the topping out of One Taikoo Place (OTP) with a cocktail reception on 1 February 2018, which marks the first milestone of its redevelopment project that ultimately unfolds as a world class destination with an expansive green space, more restaurants and bars, art and music venues, and plenty of cultural activities. “Creative transformation is the ethos of Swire Properties,” says Don Taylor, Director, Office at Swire Properties.

There are a few obvious reasons One Taikoo Place is amazing. It’s a triple Grade A rated property with 41 office floors, all enjoying a picturesque harbourview. But what’s truly spectacular about OTP is how it’s just part of Swire Properties’ grand process of transforming Taikoo Place into an even more thriving, interconnected community. “It’s not just about the physical connectivity; it’s also about the social connectivity,” says Taylor.

Swire Properties had big plans for Taikoo Place from the very beginning. In the late 1980s, Quarry Bay got an MTR station, and became connected to the elevated coastal highway and the East Harbour Crossing. The district became an ideal location for a commercial development. “Swire took the bold step and commissioned us to design Devon House, the building that would become the first of many office buildings that constitute Taikoo Place,” says Lam Wo-hei, Principal Consultant of Wong & Ouyang, the architecture firm behind much of Taikoo Place. “Swire and our team came up with a vision that we could use Devon House as a platform to develop a campus of interconnected office buildings. And now I'm so proud of what it has become and what it will become as an office campus with an exceptional level of open space. It will be my legacy.”

Also with Lam during Taikoo Place’s evolution this time is American landscape architect Kathryn Gustafson of Gustafson Porter and architect Hugh Dutton of Paris-based firm Hugh Dutton & Associés. They are responsible for the open space garden and the elevated walkway respectively that will connect all of the different buildings.

“If you look at old photographs [of Taikoo Place] there are piers, a constant movement between land and water and this wonderful mountain backdrop with beautiful forest,” says Gustafson. “So in the landscape design, we've incorporated a series of linear lines to represent the docks, water to represent movement and vegetation in the garden to represent nature and the forest. And together they become one piece that is Taikoo Place.” Besides being able to enjoy the expansive public space of the garden from the ground level, tenants of Taikoo Place can appreciate it from an elevated vantage point.

“The idea of the bridges is so people connect fluidly between the existing buildings and the new ones,” says Dutton. “One of the unique aspects of the bridge is its 160-metre-long picture window that stretches from One Taikoo Place to Two Taikoo Place, capturing the most optimal view of the garden.”

The average office worker spends more of his waking hours at the office than at home, so it’s essential that their surrounding environment can enhance the workday experience and provide a diverse set of amenities and activities. Taikoo Place does that and more. It does so in accordance with sustainability principles and tries to engage the local community in its efforts to make Taikoo Place the place to be in Hong Kong. “I find it particularly rewarding in my personal career to be involved in changing the office landscape through the Taikoo Place redevelopment project and seeing it evolve from a sugar refinery into a premier world destination,” says Taylor.

At the unveiling party on 1 February, over 300 VIP guests including those from Swire Group, Swire Properties, the masterminds behind the redevelopment project, as well as the complex’s valued tenant companies will get a first look at One Taikoo Place while enjoying tailor-made canapés and cocktails. The celebration party is decorated with different plants to echo the developer’s commitment to sustainability and a special VR is available to offer guests an exclusive virtual journey of the future Taikoo Place.

The party, officiated by Chief Executive of Swire Properties Guy Bradley and Taylor, will culminate with an atmospheric laser show projected on the new building’s façade. But the fun doesn’t stop here. An after party will take place at Taikoo Place’s new private members’ club The Refinery. It’s an evening of fun and excitement.

Photo captions (Fourth from left)
- Celebrating the topping out of Swire Properties’ latest triple Grade-A office tower, One Taikoo Place, are (from left to right): Hugh Dutton, designer of Taikoo Place’s new walkway system; Lam Wo-hei, Principal Consultant of Wong Ouyang (HK) Ltd., architects of One Taikoo Place; Guy Bradley, Chief Executive of Swire Properties; Don Taylor, Director, Office at Swire Properties; Brian Henderson, Chief Operating Officer of Baker McKenzie, a key tenant of One Taikoo Place; and Kathryn Gustafson, designer of Taikoo Place’s landscaped gardens.

- Don Taylor, Director, Office at Swire Properties making a speech at the cocktail reception celebrating the topping out of One Taikoo Place on 1 February.

- (from left): Guy Bradley, Chief Executive of Swire Properties; John Slosar, Chairman and Director of Swire Properties; Don Taylor, Director, Office at Swire Properties

- Over 300 guests attended the cocktail reception at Tong Chong Street to celebrate the milestone in the Taikoo Place Redevelopment Project.

- Guests were able to experience an exclusive virtual journey of the future Taikoo Place via a special VR available at the cocktail reception.


Interested to know more about One Taikoo Place? Please click HERE.

One of the jewels of the ever transforming Taikoo Place is the new private members club The Refinery, in which two paintings of the rising American artist Nicholas Johnson will be displayed. Check out our interview with Johnson here and find out how his works at the new club can facilitate conversations about art and culture.

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