The International Commerce Centre or the ICC is a mixed-used skyscraper located in West Kowloon, Hong Kong. It was completed in the year 2010 and is a part of the Union Square project on the top of Kowloon station which is a transportation hub that feeds a network that ferries over 11 million passenger journeys per day. It is a very important tower for China as it invites a huge portion of tourists to visit Hong Kong since it has the highest observatory, amazing malls, and great subway transportation. The tower is part of the second financial district of Hong Kong which is a hotspot for tourists as well as people coming to China for business purposes. It has residential, commercial, and business facilities which make the building one of the busiest structures in China.
International Commerce Centre Floors
The ICC is the tallest building in Hong Kong and the 10th tallest building in the world as of 2016. The height of the building is 484 meters which is about 1588 feet. The structure is said to consist of the world’s second-highest hotel and the world’s highest swimming pool. Hong Kong city’s highest observation deck is located here. The International Commerce Centre floors are a total of 112, out of which 108 are located above the ground and 4 are located below the ground. The building has a total of 83 elevators and 312 hotel rooms. It has a total number of 1700 parking spaces.
The International Commerce Centre Floors were divided by the different usage of the space. In the basement of the building, lies the Elements Shopping Mall that opened in October 2007. It offers one of the most luxurious shopping experiences in the world. Floors 102 to 118 are occupied by The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, which is a five-star hotel. The world’s highest swimming pool and bar (named Ozone) can be found on the 118th floor as well. The observation deck which is a key feature of the tower is located on the 100th floor and is called Sky100. The deck was made open to the public in April 2011. Various five-star restaurants can be found on the 101st floor and the rest of the building contains class-A office spaces.
The developer of the building is Sun Hung Kai Properties and MTR Corporation Limited which is Hong Kong’s largest property developer and metro operator respectively. The skyscraper was designed by an American Architecture firm called Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) in association with Wong & Ouyang. The ICC was not completed in a single go; rather it was built in phases from 2007 to 2010. The original plan for the building was for it to be 574 meters tall which is about 1883 feet with 102 floors. It was supposed to be named Kowloon Station Phase 7. However, the height has to be scaled back as regulations of the city did not permit buildings to be taller than the surrounding mountains. The construction of the structure was halted for a bit in September 2009 as there was an accident involving a lift shaft that resulted in the death of six workers.
The design of the building was selected through an invited competition that happened in 2000 and the winner was KPF. At first, after taking every aspect of planning into consideration including wind speed, the firm came up with a circular plan for the tower. However as future financial tenants favored square floor plates, KPF had to modify its circular design. However, it was found that wind loading on rigid shapes performs poorly and requires more materials which results in a higher cost of construction. Hence, the rigid square plan was modified by the firm by introducing notched corners which made it possible to act like the previous circular plan. The curtain wall of the tower is sculpted into a series of overlapping panels that were inspired by the scales of a dragon giving the tower an aesthetically pleasing look. The ICC is not only known for its grand height but also for its unique design elements.
The tower contains a lot of innovative design techniques which were very new during that time in Hong Kong. It has double-deck elevators which helped save space and made traveling quicker. They were the first such elevators in Hong Kong. The building also used high-strength concrete that was pumped up to the top of the structure using a new pump that conveyed concrete 1000 feet higher than normal pumps. This helped in saving a lot of money.
Why is it so popular among the tourists?
With tourists flocking around from all over the world, the ICC is one of the busiest buildings in Hong Kong. The amazing views from the tower, the luxury shopping experience, staying at the Ritz Carlton Hotel, the light display, and dining at all the fancy restaurants; all these elements in the building make it an unavoidable spot for tourists coming to the city.