The tram journey begins in Quarry Bay, which is located in the eastern part of Hong Kong Island. Quarry Bay Park is almost 15 hectares, with shade trees acting as the green lungs within the urban region. Walking across the Park towards North Point, the smell of seawater grows stronger. At the northern end of the Park, you’ll see Towngas Headquarters.
Towngas Headquarters fits in a building with over 20 years of history. During the renovation, great efforts had been spent on the designs for energy and water efficiency, waste collection and recycling. It’s not an easy task to get the whole building to fulfil the BEAM Plus project requirements.
When you walk a bit further away from Towngas Headquarters, you’ll see the harbour, where you can enjoy the beautiful view of Kai Tak Cruise Terminal and Lei Yue Mun. When the weather is pleasant, you may also see Lion Rock at a distance.
Leaving Java Road, taking a tram
to go to Causeway Bay
Hysan Place is located in the core and crowded area of Causeway Bay. It is adjacent to numerous commercial towers and large shopping malls. If you look up to the exterior of the building, you’ll see Hysan Place featuring a gaping hole in the middle. In crowded places like Causeway Bay, this “urban window” is of high importance as it facilitates the flow of air currents and eliminates the valley effect in Causeway Bay district.
There is an Urban Farm on Hysan Place’s rooftop that helps lower the rooftop temperature. Also, different types of gardening activities are held regularly. If you want to gain a taste of the countryside by being a farmer and try growing crops from soil, then you shouldn’t miss the guided activities by Green Wonders.
After having lunch, you may wander through Wan Chai after getting off the tram. You can enjoy the beautiful sunshine and an interesting view weaving together the old and modern buildings. Among the old architecture such as the markets on Spring Garden Lane and Tai Yuen Street, the Blue House Cluster and the Old Wan Chai Post Office which was built in 1913 (which has been renovated as Wan Chai Environmental Resource Centre), there is a modern and eye-catching building called Sunlight Tower. On the 6/F of Sunlight Tower, there is a plant nursery which allows tenants to enjoy gardening.
Built in 1990, Standard Chartered Bank Building (4th generation) is situated in the central business district of Central. Near the entrance there is a tram station, making its location highly accessible. After visiting Standard Chartered Bank Building, you may also visit the Statue Square and the Former Legislative Council Complex (which has been renovated as the Court of Final Appeal of the HKSAR). The exterior of Standard Chartered Bank Building is made of dark pink and beige granite. If you look up to the building from the ground, you’ll see different layers and levels pointing at the clouds. Indeed, the building has a unique appearance.
While Standard Chartered Bank Building has taken many factors regarding environmental protection into consideration during its renovation process, such as upgrading the centralised air conditioning system to save energy and reduce carbon emission, this crowns the building as a green landmark in the heart of Central.
At the final stop of the tram journey, we can get off at Sheung Wan. Walking towards Jervois Street, you’ll see many traditional Chinese shops selling marine food products, ginseng and birds’ nests, old-style tenement houses and hipster-style cafes. Within the area, the breathtaking green walls of Holiday Inn Express Hong Kong Soho will surely catch your attention.
The external living green walls of Holiday Inn Express Hong Kong Soho are actually a vertical garden. The plants on the surface of the architecture can help lower the internal temperature of the hotel, hence reducing the amount of energy required for air-conditioning. Besides, on the sides which receive the most sunlight, solar panels have been installed to transform solar energy into heat energy for water heating. With many energy-saving features, Holiday Inn Express Hong Kong Soho is a pioneer and trendsetter of green architecture in the hospitality industry.
After enjoying the tram journey, you may pick a cafe and enjoy a coffee break. Even though Hong Kong has limited space, it is anticipated that there will be more and more green architecture in this cosmopolitan city.
More green architecture is available.
Click to open the interactive Hong Kong Green Building Map to know more