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05 Nov 2009

Fluid natural design heralds new-look Pacific Place

Swire Properties today celebrated the completion of the first phase of the “Pacific Place Contemporisation Project”, unveiling a new look through various rejuvenated designs in this flagship complex. Its long established style of classic elegance is now refreshed as contemporary luxury, embodied also by the re-designed Pacific Place logo.

The contemporising of Pacific Place is the single largest transformation since its launch in 1988, and has involved interior, exterior, and architectural refinements which cost more than HK$1.5 billion. “Pacific Place is Swire Properties’ flagship portfolio that has consistently generated great value for the company as well as for our tenants. This transformation demonstrates our commitment to maintaining our leadership in developing and managing mixed-use complexes,” said Mr. Jolyon Culbertson, Director and General Manager of Swire Properties.

Along with softened aesthetics of both the mall’s interior and the exterior of the complex, the company also revealed a new logo for Pacific Place to replace the one in existence since the late 80’s. The new identity comprises free-flowing lines that come together to form the complex’s name, accompanied by a monogram composed of two connected “P”s.

The natural, warmer and softer design of the development, with a contemporary sophisticated style has been developed by Thomas Heatherwick, one of the UK’s leading design talents. His studio, established in 1994, has delivered multiple award-winning projects both in his home country and internationally with projects including the flagship store for French luxury brand, Longchamp and the world's first Rolling Bridge.

“Significant improvements have been progressively introduced in the past year. Garden Court now boasts a contemporary bronze chandelier, natural stone flooring, and transparent bubble lifts. Pacific Place Drive on Level 4 is re-landscaped as our first step towards improving the environment for office tenants. Original glass pyramids have been replaced by the ’Avenue of Light’ - a skylight that supports a leisurely pedestrian stroll on Level 4, and abundant natural light to illuminate the mall below. Both shoppers and office tenants can enjoy a sophisticated experience at Pacific Place. ” Mr. Culbertson added.

Mr. Heatherwick has adopted a holistic approach to contemporise the complex. “Pacific Place has been an iconic and much loved Hong Kong landmark for more than 20 years, so we have felt enormous responsibility to deliver a design that stands up to this reputation,” he said.

"We were wary of creating only short-term aesthetic changes and instead have tried to work in a fundamental way, looking at how the building is used and experienced, and how we can take this a step further. The original design was very carefully considered, so the fact that we have been able to expand the functionality of some parts of the complex – particularly by making significant increases to the walk-able public space on Level 4 - has been very satisfying.”

On the creative partnership, Mr. Culbertson said, “When we first initiated this project, Thomas was our immediate choice because of his original attitude towards the conventional definition of luxury, and the sculptural aesthetics of his architecture.”

The designer’s earthy approach is exemplified by the use of Italian Bedonia stone which forms a three-storey high, rippling entrance to The Upper House at Pacific Place, Swire’s first and newly opened intimate hotel in Hong Kong following The Opposite House in Beijing. Wooden balustrades meander throughout Pacific Place with Rocheret stone flooring, forming a more tactile and natural background. Extensively employed soft contours include the rippling waves on the ceilings of Domani Ristorante at Pacific Place Drive, Level 4, and the hinge-less ribbon of American Cherry wooden cubicles in the new washrooms inside the mall.

Since its launch in 1988, Pacific Place has been Hong Kong’s premier shopping and mixed-use complex. In the years following, Swire Properties has invested consistently in continuous enhancement. In 2004, Three Pacific Place was added to the grade A office at the complex. In 2005 and 2006, Pacific Place Conference Centre and Pacific Place Apartments were comprehensively refurbished. Then in 2007, the underground Three Pacific Place Link to Admiralty MTR station was opened.