Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Beaconsfield House

Beaconsfield House was a government office building in Hong Kong's .

Built in 1963, the building was home to the Information Services Department until it was demolished along with the neighbouring Hong Kong Hilton in 1995 to make way for the Cheung Kong Centre.

Plot history

The 18,300 site was carved out of a rocky hill on the shore of Victoria Harbour. In 1841, Hong Kong's Deputy Superintendent of Trade and acting administrator, Alexander Johnston, had the upper part of the hill levelled to build a home. The slope below was cut away to provide space for stables and outbuildings, and the rock and earth were used for reclamation.

The first generation building

The second generation building

The building was constructed in a utilitarian style of the 1960s, and consisted of 6 storeys.

The lower floors were occupied by the Royal Hong Kong Regiment , which had its officers' and NCOs' mess in the building. The building thus housed three service messes, a post office and a public toilet. The Information Services Department moved its offices from the west wing of the to Beaconsfield House. Talks had commenced in May 1993, and were finalised in August 1995 In April, 1995, Executive Council has approved the sale of the site, for a sum estimated to be in excess of HK$5.5 billion.

In September 1995, the Planning authorities passed the redevelopment proposals for the 9,900 combined site. With a plot ratio of 15, building would be built. The developer agreed with the planners that most of the building would actually go on the Hilton site; much of the car park and Beaconsfield house area would be given over to park and public amenities.

Apm, Hong Kong

Opened in Hong Kong in April 2005, apm is a shopping mall in Millennium City 5, a commercial property developed by Sun Hung Kai Properties. Together with 1, 2, 3, and 6 , they are commercial properties situated along Kwun Tong Road. apm is next to the . There is also a 7-storey shopping arcade with an array of restaurants, clothing stores, cosmetics shops, and a cineplex. It also contains a bus terminus and parking facilities.

It is the largest mall in the district, and caters for the habits of the community by having extended operating hours. Its name 'apm' implies that visitors are welcome during day and night. In fact, many shops inside the mall are open overnight. Some retail shops close at 12 midnight, and restaurants close at 2am. There are also stores that operate 24 hours.

This is an example of a successful "vertical mall". It has a total floor area of some , consisting of floor plate of about .. It is positioned to attract the 15 to 35 age group through special events featuring young pop stars.



A located on the top floor . It has a total number of 875 seats in six houses.

cookedDeli by c!ty'super

A large international food court, owned by c!ty'super, on L1.


*Chili N Spice
*Curry In A Hurry
*Fusion Bowl
*Honeymoon Dessert
*Lee Fa Yuen Express
*MOS Burger
*Nan Xiang Singapore Restaurant

*Osaka Osho
*Saigon Express
*S.F.B. Super Food Beverage
*Sukho Thai
*Pepper Lunch

TV and LCD

apm provides complete digital facilities around the mall. Several channels covering movies, local news, information on latest music, trends, and celebrity gossip are distributed to four mega LED screens, over 40 plasma TVs, and 100 LCDs.


The male and female washrooms feature numerous LCDs, showing programmes targeted to the appropriate sex. Specially designed kids' cubicles provide privacy for children.

Express escalators

Two express escalators are located in the middle of the mall to take shoppers from the 1st to 3rd and 3rd to 5th floors.


Three sets of lockers at apm for shoppers' convenience.

Special Events

Fifa World Cup 2006

During the 2006 Germany World Cup, the gigantic LED TV located in the atrium broadcast the biggest games. Thousands of fans crowded into the mall to watch from all seven floors of the mall.

AIA Tower

The AIA Tower is a skyscraper located in the North Point district of Hong Kong. The tower rises 44 and in height. The building was completed in 1999. It was designed by architectural firm Andrew Lee King Fun & Associates, and was developed by Henderson Land Development. The AIA Tower, which stands as the 99th-tallest building in Hong Kong, is composed entirely of commercial office space. It is an example of modern architecture.

9 Queen's Road Central

9 Queen's Road Central is a skyscraper located in the district of Hong Kong. The tower rises 39 and in height. The building was completed in 1991. It was designed by architectural firm Wong Tung & Partners, and was developed by S E A Holdings Limited. 9 Queen's Road Central, which stands as the 80th-tallest building in Hong Kong, is composed almost entirely of commercial office space; the podium which the building rises out of is used for retailing. It is an example of .

1996 Garley building fire

The 1996 Garley building fire was a fire incident that took place on November 20, 1996 in the 16-story Garley commercial building on Nathan Road, in , Kowloon, Hong Kong. It was a catastrophe that caused the loss of 41 lives and 81 injuries. The land lot was bought by Kai Yee Investment Company Ltd in 1970 when it cost just $1.56 million.


At the time of the fire, the Garley Building was undergoing internal renovation, in which new elevators were to be installed; one had been completely refurbished, with another almost completed. The other two elevator shafts in the building had had their elevators removed, and bamboo scaffolding installed within the shaft. The fire-resistant elevator doors were also removed to allow light into the elevator shaft so welders could see clearly. The welding was revealed to be the source of the fire. A UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter was also deployed to rescue people trapped on the roof, but quickly left after rescuing four people as it was feared that the rotating helicopter blades were making the fire worse. The role of the helicopter was later studied.

With the elevators unusable and the staircases impassable due to the smoke, firefighters had difficulty reaching the upper levels of the building, relying on four rescue ladders to rescue occupants who had opened the windows for fresh air. The flame was finally put out after 21 hours. For this incident much of the blame fell on the welders and occupants of the building, who were not properly trained in fire drills and knew little about building evacuation procedures. As a result of the fire, building regulations were quickly revised to prevent this sort of disaster from occurring again - indeed, since the revisions, there has not been a single year in which more than ten people have died from fires.

Cultural references

The Discovery Channel series '''' documented the events of the fire and subsequent investigation, labeling it the ''Hong Kong Inferno''.


The Garley Building was abandoned after the fire, but was not demolished until 2003, due to the difficulty of finding the owners of the businesses within. The original landlord of the building, China Resources Enterprise, originally intended to construct a "Ginza-style" shopping mall at the site, but later changed plans to build a new office building. Work on the building was completed in 2007.

World Trade Center (Hong Kong)

The World Trade Centre was the name of one of the portfolio of buildings owned in Hong Kong by Jardines through its property development arm, Hongkong Land, and is also connected via passageway to its neighbor, The Excelsior It has since been sold to Sun Hung Kai Properties. It is situated on land owned by Jardines since the early days of Hong Kong as a British Crown Colony at in the area now known as Causeway Bay, where Jardines had their original godowns and offices.


Located at 280 Glouster Road, World Trade Centre was built in the . Although it originally housed the nightclub ''Palace Theatre'' , it was later remodeled to be Hong Kong's most luxurious cinema of the same name. The food and beverage corporation also established a restaurant branch in the building, and garnered relative fame at the time.

In the , the World Trade Centre was sold to Sun Hung Kai Properties and was remodeled again to its present form, with the lower floors as a mall and the upper floors remaining as office space.

Palace Theatre Cinema

After being converted from a nightclub, Palace Theatre Cinema was opened on November 14, 1979 by Shaw Brothers Studio. The cinema was regarded as one of the most extravagant in Hong Kong; where as normal prime seats would cost 10 Hong Kong Dollars , the cheapest seat in Palace Theatre costs 12 HKD. The 1060 larger and wider seats, the luxurious lobby, and the middle to upper class clientele signaled the birth of high-end theatres for Hong Kong movie-goers.

The films shown were primarily from the West; the first film was . In 1981, Palace Theatre showed starring Christopher Reeve, which remained in theatres for 223 days, a record length for Hong Kong at the time. Between the period of September 12, 1981 and April 22, 1982, the box office at Palace Jade made 9.38 million HKD, also establishing a new record for foreign movies . Among other films, Palace Jade showed American Gigolo and A Clockwork Orange exclusively.


The World Trade Centre can be reached through exit D1 in MTR's Causeway Bay Station.

Wing On House

Wing On House is the name of a commercial building on Des Voeux Road Central, , Hong Kong.


On completion in 1964, it was very briefly Hong Kong's tallest commercial building, with 31 stories.


It is named after Wing On, a department stores and insurance conglomerate with a history dating back more than 100 years. Two other buildings along are also named after Wing On: Wing On Centre in Sheung Wan and Wing On Life Building in .


Each floor occupies around 11,000 square feet .

The building currently houses the Hong Kong Branch of Public Bank Berhad, the Hong Kong Law Society, Group Life Insurance and the local Consulate of Ghana as well as offices of Hang Seng Bank, whose old and new headquarters are next to Wing On House.