Ive known for a while that the majority of HKs skyscrapers are basically 'projects' while that makes for density it makes the city horrible over all, you can see them in pretty much every picture of the HK skyline.
Id venture that the built environment, skyscrapers particularly, and this city mean a large part of alot of people on this forums lives, so im sure many people care. And if you dont why are you even on the forum?
I am on Wired New York for the intelligent architectural and urban planning discussions related to the City of New York and its environs, my adopted hometown from the mid 1950's to only recently.
I come to the site to read about developments both in new buildings and regular news involving the city, and seek insight provided by other forumers; sometimes offering some myself--as I did in this thread. I gave a logical opinion on post three, and then followed my response with a question which seems to have made you upset. I apologize for making you angry. Since the skyline comparison competition between New York and Hong Kong makes you so passionate, I humbly withdraw my comments.
I hadn't realized people bothered themselves with such pointless, unanswerable comparisons.
Maybe our meaning of the word 'care' have caused a clash, if you meant 'care' as a petty 'my skylines bigger than yours' context then i agree but i read it as something else more along the lines of a passionate discussion of opinions on things we truely 'care' about. If you implied the former i apologise.
And it would be unlike me not to respond (which I did--to Alonzo, and not your 'I do.')
Last edited by GVNY; August 27th, 2007 at 06:39 AM.
As you are aware, I have an alternate view that there is no hands down winner here, but now I'll have to expand this to include residential skyscraper stock as well, since your view seems to be derived partially from the dismissal of HK residential stock based on Ap Lei Chao.
My inclusion of Ap Lei Chao was not meant to show representative residential housing in HK, because it would not qualify. The residential towers in HK Central would not be representative of HK housing on the other end. In fact if I were to post the residential towers from all areas of Hong Kong, you would see a great variety of highrise residential housing that runs the gamut from drab crumbling projects that hang laundry from poles out windows, to high-roller architecturally glitzy condominiums.
Contrary to the tendency of looking at only those few money shots of the very best of the skylines of a city, I am trying to expand the discussion ever so slightly into other significant parts of the skyline, or even other skylines in the same city. I am fully aware you can make a case that referring to Ap Lei Chao's skyline in HK discussion is like talking about Brooklyn's skyline in NYC, when everyone knows that we are comparing Manhattan Island to Hong Kong Island. But this is why I included it. Not only is it a skyline in HK, although not THE skyline, it is interesting and perhaps unknown to most posters on WNY who will visit this thread.
NYC is a world class city and no one will ever doubt that, but that does not mean that other cities cannot challenge. Believe me, HK is perhaps the most serious challenger one can find to NYC and not just in the area of skyscraper amount and density of skyline. I think it is more a question of what you like, rather than which one is number 1. The inherent problem with any discussion that compares NYC to another great city on WNY, will be the vast majority of posters may be unaware of that other challenger, or more disturbedly, too quick to dismiss the challenge because the world still comes back to our doorsteps on such matters as skyscrapers.
Make no mistake, I am making my posts on HK not because I think it is number 1, but rather it is an intriguing counterpoint to NYC in this area. If there is a WHK, I would probably be making posts of Manhattan and maybe even Brooklyn, the Bronx or Staten Island. But let's face it - HK would probably know more about NYC than most of us know about their city.
Has Hong Kong Skyline Overtaken NYC's?
I don't think so. After all New York had quite a start.
A photo I took in 1956 from Victoria Peak looking down on the two buildings of note. 1) The Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, and 2) The Bank of China.
Tall buildings have existed throughout the centuries, but modern skylines, built from the so-called skyscraper – a term borrowed from tall ships – reflect a shorter history. That history dates back to the nineteenth century, and is not simply based on height, but also on type and method of construction.
Credible scholarship has suggested that skyscrapers and the modern skyline actually began in Chicago, not New York, based on these concepts. But when HK entered the picture, it quickly became the Asian symbol of the modern skyline, bar none. Like HK, Tokyo had many tall buildings, so did Shanghai, Singapore, etc. But HK quickly transitioned into the modern skyline and outpaced its rivals, despite deficits in population that it had by comparison. And the emergence of the skyscraper there was not just to gain status but in response to its real estate and multi-variant demands in the world economy.
A 50 plus year old photograph is interesting in showing how far behind HK was to NYC, but 50 years is a sizeable chunk in skyscraper history, and HK has grown from that point to a world-class skyline within two decades of the photo, and has broadened and deepened in scale as a result. According to Emporis, HK has the greatest number of what it calls skyscrapers. But even if we reject that number, it is hard to ignore the size and density of modern skyscrapers in the HK skyline as of today.
The elephant standing in the room that portends HK’s future is Communist China. What will be in store for this city in post-Olympic China? In current China it is not being arrested in its growth. HK’s rich initially fled to other places to find secondary shelter in case things immediately changed – but they did not. Many have returned while maintaining dual residency. But there is always the threat that will exist and could effect this great city in the years to come.
For me New York always will be number one - no matter what kind of crazy show off skyscrapers someone will build. NYC it not just buildings - it is also people and cultures from all over there world. each has his corner there. NYC is a cultural center of European culture which Hong Kong can never beat by a long shot. Finally and this is what you have to feel - NYC has this air of freedom around it. No other place has it as much nd I have been to quite a few.
I took a long look at all these places in Dubai, China, Moscow lately. Maybe it is just me - but I found that most of what is being build repeats in some form or element what already has been done in NYC somewhere. IT is done in a new form - but if you really want to find something genuinely new - you will have a really hard time. 95% in my opinion - just contemporary copies. Sometimes much uglier than originals which had taste and proportions.
HK really has two things going for it
1- the city is really crammed along the harbor which puts the entire skyline in one line. As much as NYC is a city with limited space we still have our Midtown, Downtown, and Brooklyn skylines spread across the area and viewed from many sides.
HK has one skyline. NYC has at the very least five. The west side and east side midtown skylines are impressive by themselves, not to mention all of downtown.
2- Lights. Looks how well lit HK is, NYC does a horrible job in this area. Even Empire state is lit by pathetic colored lights instead of some impressive searchlights that would properly show the shadows of its setbacks and so on. Same thing goes for every building in NYC, if we lit up 70 Pine st and 40 Wall St the way we light up 30 Rock the skyline would look much better.
To me this is a non issue. NYC has much better buildings. It doesn't take much to light up twenty of your identical high rise condos. There's only half a dozen really good buildings in HK where NYC probably has four times that. If we put all our buildings in a line, lit them up, and brought back the WTC nobody would even come close.
Exterior a bit Gehryish?
World’s Largest Underground High-Speed Rail Station
Meant to connect Hong Kong to Beijing, the Express Rail Link West Kowloon Terminus is said to become the largest underground high-speed rail station in the world. This stunning modern concept was designed by Andrew Bromberg of international architecture studio Aedas and its completion is programmed for 2015. In three years time, the huge 4,628,481 square feet (430,000 square meters) contemporary terminal in central Hong Kong will be prepared with 15 tracks for high-speed trains reaching maximum speeds of 124 mph. Helping travelers get from one city to the other in 48 minutes opposed to the current 100 minutes train ride, the dazzling terminal is also an example of how far technology and architecture have come together. Starting with the first impression, this undulating building will change the city’s face – promising to proudly display Hong Kong’s bold and vanguard character. Rising 148 feet high above the surroundings, the structure’s roof line acts as dynamic-shaped pedestrian trails alongside green spaces. This park/terminal hybrid fabricates a promised view of the future – we can’t wait to see it finished and on-line.
Animated fly-thru / fly-over of that rail link project on Aedas site HERE
But I'm a bit confused by this:
"Meant to connect Hong Kong to Beijing ... Helping travelers get from one city to the other in 48 minutes opposed to the current 100 minutes train ride..."
Distance calculator shows Hong Kong <> Beijing = 1,963 km / 1,220 miles
Damn! The Chinese are making some fast trains these days