Courtesy Ritz Carlton Hong Kong, Nacasa & Partners, Grischa Rueschendorf, Tim Griffith
KPF’s 118-story International Commerce Centre (ICC) tower sets new standards for both scale and sustainability in building design. The tower accommodates offices, a 360 degree observation deck, and the world’s highest hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong. The winning entry in an international design competition, the tower is the centerpiece of the Union Square reclamation project. The Union Square project includes a new urban center with office, retail, hotel and recreation spaces, as well as a new transportation hub, Kowloon Station, which connects Hong Kong to Chep Lap Kok airport. The ICC tower, the tallest building in Hong Kong, accents this new development and provides a new model of green urban design.The tower’s subtly tapered re-entrant corners and the gently sloped curves at its base are designed to optimize its structural performance. These curves splay out at the base of the tower, rooting the tower in its surroundings, while creating sheltering canopies on three sides, and a dramatic atrium on the north side. The atrium gestures towards the rest of the development and serves as a public connection space for retail and rail station functions.KPF worked with the Hong Kong Polytechnic University to develop the “Energy Optimizer” air-conditioning system, which has a central intelligent control, energy consumption monitors, and collects data and analyzes it for day-and-night and seasonal variations to provide a baseline for energy-saving adjustments. The elevators use a passenger smart card system to maximize the efficiency of vertical transportation by assigning lifts to groups of people with similar destinations, minimizing both waiting times for lifts, and wasteful starting and stopping of the cabs. The tower also saves water by harvesting condensed water from the air-conditioning units for use in either cooling towers or toilet flushing. KPF’s scheme succeeds in wedding the high-rise building model with a highly efficient structural and operational agenda.