Hong Kong can now claim a Frank Gehry of its own, joining the ranks of Los Angeles and New York, Prague and Bilbao — cosmopolitan cities privileged with a billowing bauble with which to launch a minor tourism or luxury apartment campaign.
The Opus Hong Kong, a 12-storey residential tower and the architect's first in Asia, has recently been completed. Located at 53 Stubbs Road on the Peak, the highest point in Hong Kong, the high-rise building overlooks the whole of the city, an idyllic panorama that fills each of the 10 6000 square-foot (557sqm) units, virtual "houses in the sky". Speaking of the project, Swire Properties, the developers behind Opus, asserted that the structure cost $US27,000 per square foot, with the individual apartments expected to fetch record-breaking prices, thus easily qualifying the complex as the most valuable real estate in Hong Kong. Still, Gehry, who had persistently expressed his distaste for luxury housing commissions to international media, considered the project an opportunity to deliver a design both "modest and appropriate for the market".
As the architect recently explained to Bloomberg TV, "Hong Kong lends itself to this [Opus] because you are looking at this incredible landscape of the harbour and the city", a distinctive landscape that enabled Gehry to"create something unique, something that is unlikely to be replicated anywhere again."
Photos: Frank Gehry/Swire Properties