Those who haven’t visited the area between the Central post office and the new Star Ferry terminal will be shocked at the amount of reclaimed land added over the past two years. Neatly hidden behind walls, the area seems like it appeared out of nowhere. The quantity of harbor filled-in to create the new waterfront is immense.
Despite the loss of a few scenic and semi-historic spots, if done correctly, the waterfront reclamation project stands to add to the quality of life in the city. Especially as the Kowloon skyline has rapidly verticalized, the view from the new promenade will be spectacular. Here are some photos of the work in progress.
The reclaimed land project extends from the Star Ferry pier next to IFC 2, all the way to Wanchai, near the Fleet Arcade (close to the Convention Center.) Tamar site, the large swath of formerly vacant land in Admiralty, will be integrated as part of the waterfront renovation.
I can attest to the fact that the harbor-front previously was mostly dead space. I used to walk between Central and Wanchai along the water and it was deserted. I thought of it as an express route to get between the Convention Centre and Central without getting stuck waiting at traffic lights. It brought you past the China PLA government building (formerly the Prince of Wales building,) with the soldiers standing staunchly at guard (not quite Buckingham palace, but still interesting!)
The only losses, were Queens Pier, which was located directly in front of City Hall, and the Star Ferry pier next to it (which had only been located there for 40 years.) Although quaint, the building was sort of a bad use of space. The two biggest losses in my mind were two viewing points. One was located near the new Star Ferry pier, and gave you a remarkable side-view of Hong Kong towards the Convention Center. The other was a small park in front of the PLA headquarters. Both of these will be replaced once the new area opens.
You can view one of the proposed models of the area on Swire’s site. The design includes a large amount of green space.
For a look at some of the ideas put forth for the waterfront in a competition go here.