There are no dollar signs or references to money, but the striking Bank of China Tower in Admiralty screams economic might, according to a new list of the world's most eye-catching corporate headquarters.
The building, one of the most famous on the skyline of Hong Kong Island, is the only one from the city that a German buildings data firm has included on its list of the top 16 corporate buildings in the world.
"There are a lot of banal office buildings, but these are those which express something," said Matthew Keutenius, senior data analyst at Hamburg-based Emporis, whose six-member panel included innovative design and visual impact among their selection criteria. They also considered the structure's function as a significant example of corporate architecture.
"It's a one-off and instantly recognisable [design], even for people who haven't been to Hong Kong," Keutenius said of the Bank of China Tower, which has a landmark triangular pattern running along its 367-metre height.
Built in 1989, the tower was designed by Chinese-American architect I. M. Pei.
In Asia, the Shanghai headquarters of the Agricultural Bank of China and China Construction Bank at the Riviera Twin Star Square, Samsung's Seoul offices and the twin Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur are also listed.
Globally, the Bank of China Tower ranks alongside the BMW headquarters in Munich, which looks like the pistons of a four-cylinder engine.
"All of the buildings in the list have imposing architecture and some companies see it as a way to strengthen the brand," said Emporis' Keutenius.
He added that companies often enlisted star architects to design their corporate headquarters as a way to impart prestige and status to the building.