Ocean Park's ambitious new plans for a water park to open in 2017 were unveiled today, with artists' impressions showing a futuristic entertainment hub spread across the terraced hillsides of Hong Kong's Southern district.
Wave pools, splash pools, slides and rides will be built into a series of terraced platforms, designed in harmony with the natural surroundings of Tai Shue Wan, Ocean Park said in a report submitted to the Environmental Protection Department.
The park will enjoy extensive sea views and will attract up to 10,500 visitors a day.
“This scheme now takes good advantage of the existing slope conditions by locating ride platforms on or near the slopes to minimise the amount of structural support required,” the report says of the various slides and equipment that wil be installed.
It says the design is an improvement on an earlier plan that envisaged having a flat building shaped like a “clam shell” as the focal point.
According to the environmental impact assessment report, the construction of the facility will lead to the felling of over 1,600 trees along the slope and there will be compensatory planting to make up for the loss.
The park will also relocate Flamingo Pond, currently at the centre of the work area, to south of the Water Park where Ocean Park says will be an isolated corner, free from visitor disturbances. The pond is currently used by herons.
The report says the project is considered to be environmentally acceptable and there would be no adverse residual impact on the environment after easement measures were introduced.
The public now has a month to comment on the report until 18 June. After that the Advisory Council on the Environment will discuss if the report should be endorsed while the Director of Environmental Protection will decide if work permits can be issued to the park for the project.
The centrepiece will be two elliptical indoor pools with glass roofs rimmed by plants that will let sunlight in.
More terraces will be built on the slope opposite, where the first level will house the entrance and ticketing office, an exhibition of sea turtles, changing rooms, restaurants and shops.
An outdoor wave pool, plunge pools for slides, an indoor surf rider and slides will be on level two. The next floor will have an indoor wave pool, more indoor play structures, outdoor activity pools and spa pools. The top level will feature water slides.
It will open from 9am to 11pm.
The park claims the water centre will entice tourists to stay an extra three-quarters of a day in the city.
“[It] is projected to contribute significantly to the local economy and drastically stimulate industry growth – it is estimated to create 2,900 jobs, as well as generate HK$842 million in tourism growth,” the report says.