Further Evolution of Elevated Walkway System by Private Developers — Hollywood Terrace (1990s)
Private developers in Hong Kong have started to adapt the housing type of podiums and towers connected by elevated walkway system since 1960s. On one hand, the elevated walkway system provides private owned public space in response to the land lease conditions. On another hand, the footbridges improve the build environment and the efficiency of circulation. Mei Foo Sun Cheun in 1960s, Kai Koo Shing in 1970s and Whampoa Garden in 1980s are success example of this typology in large scale estates. Comparing with Lai Chi Kok and Tai Koo, the urban fabric in central is much denser and the site is much smaller. Therefore it’s impossible to copy the interconnected podiums in central. However, since 1980s, the architects began to reflect on the verticality of urban fabric (Zheng and Xue, 2014). When the central-midlevel escalator was put into use, newly developed estates began to merge into the pedestrian walkway system.
Hollywood Terrace locates on Queen’s Road Central. It was designed by Rocco Yim in 1999 and it was the winner of ARCASIA Gold Medal in 2003. The estate contains two 35-storied towers sitting on a shared podium. The estate sits on Queen’s Road Central and on the back side of the site lies a 23 meters’ slope which leads to Hollywood Road. In this project, pedestrian circulation, accessibility and landscape are well considered, which makes the estate an organic part of urban fabric (Xue, 2016).
There are stairs and lift in Hollywood Terrace are designed for general public and can be accessed 24 hours. Pedestrians are able to walk through the estate from Queen’s Road and reach Hollywood Road at upper level. Also, there is a footbridge connecting the estate to Hollywood Road. The footbridge is elevated by 23 meters and it shows the verticality of connection which doesn’t exist in previous elevated walkway models. Moreover, the public circulation and private circulation in the estate are carefully configured so that they don’t interfere with each other (Hope and Ryan, 2002). While walking through the footbridge, pedestrians can enjoy the view of the garden on the podiums without interrupting the private space of residences (Figure 1).
Comparing with the large scale private estates developed in previous decades, Hollywood Terrace possesses the notion of verticality of connection while responding to the site condition. The scale , density and landscape on the site bring challenges to Hollywood Terrace to maintain pedestrian accessibility. In this case, the elevated walk cut through the estate rather than interlinking different parts of the estate. Instead of creating connection between podiums within the estate, the elevated walkway in Hollywood Terrace merges the estate into the context and brings permeability to the project.
Eliza Hope, Kate Ryan. “The city in architecture: Recent work of Rocco design”. (Mulgrave, Vic. : Images ; Oxford : William Snyder. 2002). 85
Charlie Q.L. Xue. “Hong Kong Architecture 1945–2015: From Colonial to Global”. (Singapore: Springer Science+Business Media. 2016). 236-240.
Zheng Tan & Charlie Q.L. Xue. “Walking as a Planned Activity: Elevated Pedestrian Network and Urban Design Regulation in Hong Kong”. Journal of Urban Design. 19:5. 722-744. (2014). DOI: 10.1080/13574809.2014.946895