Hong Kong is officially known as the “Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China.”
That’s a whole mouth full to describe one of the most densely populated cities in the world. Nearly 7.5 million people live in an area of barely 2,754.97 square kilometers (1,063.70 square miles).
The British established a colony on Hong Kong Island in 1842 and it expanded to include the Kowloon peninsula in 1860.
Nobody who lived during this period could have expected that this relatively small colony would transform into one of the most developed urban jungles on the planet.
To give some reference to this number, runner-up Shenzhen is home to about 350 skyscrapers and New York City has just over 300.
This makes it not surprising that some of the most famous buildings in Hong Kong are rather tall. In this article, you’ll discover some of the most remarkable feats of architecture in Hong Kong.
1. International Commerce Center
The International Commerce Centre is commonly referred to as the ICC and is the tallest building in Hong Kong. It stands 484 meters (1,588 feet) and has dominated West Kowloon, the western part of the Kowloon Peninsula since it was completed in 2010.
This commercial tower was the 4th-tallest building in the world upon completion but has since then been surpassed by nearly a dozen other towering skyscrapers. Apart from offices, the tower is also home to the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong and an observation deck called Sky100 at a height of 387.8 meters (1,272.3 feet) above the ground below.
2. Tsing Ma Bridge
The Tsing Ma Bridge is a famous bridge in the western part of Hong King and was named after Tsing Yi and Ma Wan, the two islands it connects. It’s an enormous suspension bridge that has a main span of 1,377 meters (4,518 feet). Towers with a height of 206 meters (676 feet) support this massive structure.
These numbers made it the second-longest suspension bridge in the world upon completion in 1997. It’s the most important bridge in Hong Kong as well as it’s part of the Lantau Link. This means it connects Lantau, the largest island of Hong Kong, with the city center. Lantau is where the Hong Kong International Airport is located.
3. Bank of China Tower
The Bank of China Tower is another stunning skyscraper that is located in Central, the name of the Central Business District of Hong Kong. Designed by renowned American-Chinese architect I. M. Pei, the tower has been one of the most notable additions to the Hong Kong skyline since it was completed in 1990.
The distinctive triangular shapes of the exterior which are illuminated at night turn this building in Hong Kong into one of the city’s most beautiful landmarks. The tower stands 367.4 meters (1,205.4 feet) and remains the 4th-tallest building in the city today. It was the first supertall skyscraper outside of the United States.
4. HSBC Building
The HSBC Building serves as the headquarters of the Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and has served this purpose since it was completed in 1985. It’s the best example of High-Tech architecture in Hong Kong, a style defined by the visibility of structural elements on both the exterior and interior of the building.
This is the fourth building that the bank occupies since the 1860s. The three former buildings here have all been demolished to make way for larger versions. The HSBC Building features 44 floors of offices and stands 178.8 meters (586.6 feet) tall.
5. Innovation Tower
The Innovation Tower is the common name of a building officially known as the Jockey Club Innovation Tower. It’s a building that is part of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University and was designed by renowned British-Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid.
Although the building was commissioned in 2007, it wasn’t completed until 2014, well over 3 years behind schedule. It’s located in the northwestern part of the university’s campus and stands 76 meters (249 feet). It features a remarkable modern design that makes it a fascinating landmark in Hong Kong.
6. Court of Final Appeal
The Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal is used to house exactly what it describes, the final appellate court in the city. It’s housed in a Neoclassical Building that was constructed between 1900 and 1912, although the court has only been using this building for this purpose since 2015.
It housed the Supreme Court between 1912 and 1985 and the Legislative Council between 1985 and 2011. What’s fascinating about this building is that it was designed by two British architects named Sir Aston Webb and Ingress Bell. They were also involved in the design of the eastern façade of Buckingham Palace.
7. Clock Tower
The Clock Tower in Hong Kong is one of the most famous landmarks in the city. It’s located on the southern shore of Tsim Sha Tsui which is in the utmost southern part of the Kowloon Peninsula. This bell tower stands 44 meters (144.4 feet) tall and is the only remnant of the former Kowloon Station that was located here.
The common name of this tower is the “Tsim Sha Tsui Clock Tower” but it’s officially known as the “Former Kowloon-Canton Railway Clock Tower,” a reference to its former purpose. Like most areas in Hong Kong, it has been repurposed and now the tower faces a nice landscaped park which is a great place to hang out in this urban jungle.
8. Blue House
The Blue House is the name of a historic building in the Wan Chai district of Hong King Island. As the name suggests, it’s easy to recognize this Grade I Historic Building due to the color of its exterior and its distinctive balconies.
It’s one of the few apartment buildings in the city referred to as “Tong Lau.” It was originally constructed in the 1870s and served as the “Wan Chai Kai Fong Hospital.” The building subsequently served as a temple, a martial arts, school, and a traditional clinic. It was completely renovated and opened to the public in 2016.
9. The Peninsula Hong Kong
The Peninsula Hong Kong is a luxury hotel located just a short walk northeast of the Clock Tower in the Tsim Sha Tsui of Kowloon. This amazing hotel first opened its doors in 1928 in the location of the former “Hong King Hotel.” It was advertised as “the finest hotel east of Suez” at the time.
It’s a prime example of colonial architecture in Hong Kong and was renovated in 1994 to include some modern features as well. A 30-story tower was added on top of the building and only the original façade and forecourt were preserved. It was the first branch of the Peninsula chain of hotels.
10. International Finance Centre
The International Finance Centre is another massive skyscraper in Hong Kong that dominates the Waterfront of Hong Kong’s Central Business District. It was completed between 1996 and 1998 and remains the second-tallest building in the city with a height of 415 meters (1,361.5 feet).
What’s fascinating about this immense tower is that it faces its slightly taller counterpart, the International Commerce Centre in West Kowloon, across Victoria Harbour. Equally remarkable is that this tower also houses a popular hotel, the Four Seasons Hong Kong. This is housed in an adjoining building that is part of the same complex.