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Bank of China Tower

The Bank of China Tower is one of the buildings that most catch visitors' eyes. Located in a cluster of other tall buildings in Central, it stands out for bright reflection, the unusual crystal shape, and the lighting pattern.

  • 36th tallest building in the world (2016) at 367 meters (1,205 feet) and 70 stories
  • Designed by the famous architect IM Pei.
  • Ranked 85/789 on TripAdvisor in 2016.

Tourist Highlights

Bank of China TowerThe Bank of China Tower has a shiny truss design.

Special effects: In the daylight, its mirrors contort the surroundings (what does it mean)? At night, see the bright lightning-like shafts of light. It sits in a cluster with other tall buildings. Hong Kong has about the most very tall skyscrapers of any city in the world, and it is said to be among the world's most architecturally beautiful cities.

Symphony of Lights: Almost every evening when the weather is not stormy, the Bank of China Building along with most of the other big buildings around Hong Kong Bay take part in a sound and light display, and the buildings are lit up with computer controlled lighting effects in concert with music and narration. Unlike the colorfully lit buildings nearby, it contrasts in white light.

Touring Activities

  • Admiring the design and considering the meaning of the Feng Shui.
  • Hong Kong has four of the twenty tallest buildings in the world all in a small area around the harbor. Appreciate modern skyscraper design.

History

The building is historic because it was the first building taller than 300 meters or 1,000 feet that was built outside of the United States. It can be said to be the forerunner of the current tall skyscraper boom around the world.

It is a Hong Kong landmark designed by the famous architect named IM Pei, who was born not far away in the nearby city of Guangzhou and educated in the United States. It is said to combine Western and Chinese design ideas.

This achievement of architect IM Pei has many architecture and design awards. In a way, Pei's work in Hong Kong was like coming home since he was born in the nearby city of Guangzhou. The Japanese company Kumagai Gumi built it. The building was officially inaugurated in 1990.

Feng Shui Connotations

The sharp corners and bright, reflective features caused a lot of controversy when it was being built. The Chinese have a belief system called "Feng Shui" that dictates architectural style. IM Pei was aware of Feng Shui principles. His wife was a Chinese woman who studied landscape architecture.

In Feng Shui, a mirror brings the energy of the Feng Shui water element that represents wealth. Mirrors are used to expand space; to draw in the beneficial Chi energy, wealth, and health; and to reflect away destructive energy. Imagine the controversy that was caused when the biggest building in Asia went up and reflected, redirected and soaked up the geomantic energy in the whole city of Hong Kong!

Its sharp angles, and the building is full of sharp angles, represent attacks on the places pointed at, and people in Hong Kong comment and joke about which institutions and buildings are the major targets.

Compared to a Big Piece of Bamboo

The cross braces and triangular framework of the building are designed to withstand typhoons. The structure is said to mimic bamboo. However, the building looks nothing like a bamboo stalk. Because of the efficient truss design of the building, comparatively less steel was needed for the building's construction.

Looks like the Willis Tower

The Bank of China Tower in CentralThe Bank of China Tower in Central

It is reminiscent of the Willis Tower that was formerly called the Sears Tower in Chicago that was built much earlier. That was the tallest building in the world for a long time. The Willis Tower is composed of rectangular blocks and has rectangles in its framework and appears dark and brooding, but the Bank of China Tower is composed of triangular sections with triangular frames and is reminiscent of crystalline growth and structure, and it is bright and shiny.

Travel Essentials

  • Location: No. 1 Garden Road in Central District on Hong Kong Island.
  • How to go there: Next to the Central MTR Station.
  • No public viewing area inside: Since 2014, the public observatory on the 43rd floor has been closed.

Nearby Attractions

Central District is architecturally interesting because there are ultra-modern buildings near Victorian-era colonial buildings and old Chinese architecture – all within walking distance. You can see the old British architecture at Hong Kong Park and at St. John's Cathedral.

Nearby is the IFC Tower, the second tallest in Hong Kong. Traditional Chinese architecture is at the Man Mo Temple.

To best see the fine free sound and light show called the Symphony of Lights, you can watch and listen to the music and narration at the Avenue of Stars.

Private Tours

China Highlights specializes in individualized tours for groups and individuals according to customer wishes.

  • Contact us to tailor-make your own tour and tell us what you want to do.
  • We arrange tickets and transport: Entry ticket, visa, accommodation, and transport details are arranged in advance for you.
  • See our Hong Kong tours.

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