Classic look to return
FORGET about the glitz, classic architecture is about to make its mark in Hong Kong, according to world-renowned architect Remo Riva.
He should know because his latest creation, Entertainment Building, the newly-completed Gothic tower in Queen's Road Central, has just won Hong Kong's most prestigious architectural prize, the silver medal from the Hong Kong Institute of Architects.
''This is Hong Kong's top design honour because the gold medal can only be awarded by the Royal Institute of British Architects in London,'' Mr Riva said.
He agreed that the 26-storey beige stone building was rather dour compared with its shimmering glass neighbours, but said that for the building's owner, Chinese Estates, it represents exactly the ''trophy building'' they were seeking.
''People tend to go with glitz in Hong Kong. Chinese Estates wanted something different, something outstanding, classical in design with no excess,'' the Swiss designer of architects P&T said.
Rotating the building 45 degrees from other buildings in the area also meant the tower would become instantly recognisable, providing more space and opening up the congested corner of Queen's Road and Wyndham Street.
The structure has also become a personal triumph of Chan Lai-kiu, one of P&T's project architects.
Entertainment Building was the first major building project carried out by the University of Hong Kong graduate.
Mr Riva praised Miss Chan, saying growling contractors and subcontractors more than met their match when she chaired project meetings.