My Central is a redevelopment project with a prime mission to upgrade the original wet market in the neighbourhood of Graham Street, Peel Street and Gage Street on the outskirts of Hong Kong’s CBD. Situated at the heart of the old city fabric, measures have been taken during design and construction to minimise the impact on a century-old building only a hundred metres from the site, inspires new dimensions to dense, vertical living in the heart of the city.
UPGRADING THE HEART OF THE OLD CITY FABRIC
LWK + PARTNERS was to design a residential block with a commercial podium that would become the new market. Hawkers affected by the redevelopment scheme were to be locally rehoused in the project to continue doing business in the community. It was also the client’s key requirement to offer views of the Mid-levels or the world-famous Victoria Harbour.
My Central comprises a 31-storey residential tower on top of a six-storey podium, offering 185 residential units with fascinating views of the city from skyscrapers to the Victoria Harbour. Clubhouse facilities include a swimming pool and a sky garden, where residents can unwind amid the city’s vibrant buzz.
The market block, named Taste of Graham Market, not only reinstates the historic Graham Market, but also serves as an extension of the Central Elevated Walkway system connecting Mid-Levels to Central. The shops and restaurants on the lower levels are a vertical extension of the surrounding streetscapes, facilitating local needs of the community and celebrating the neighbourhood’s diverse character. An open-air staircase leading to the main entrance blends the site perfectly with the surroundings, encouraging people to participate in the multicultural community life of Hong Kong. In light of local demands for open spaces and to create a smooth transition from the commercial base to the residential zones above, the architect strategically places a piece of open space between the residential tower and market block providing gathering space for pedestrians and residents.
The redevelopment project has a prime mission to upgrade the existing wet market in the neighbourhood. Hawkers affected by the redevelopment scheme were to be locally rehoused in the project and continue doing business in the community.
To maximise the shop frontage of the market block for a better shopping experience, the market block sitting along Gage Street is specially designed to welcome dynamic pedestrian flows from Graham Street and Peel Street; while the residential tower and podium sit further back from the busy streetscape to enjoy more privacy.
The designer has made use of the footbridge for better circulation and provided a secondary access to the podium from the ground level. Pedestrians can also enjoy better views out of the landscaped areas at higher levels.
The designer reviewed the design and construction of the foundation system to minimise the impact on the century-old building only a hundred metres from the site. Surrounded with markets and groceries alongside, the coordination and construction of underground utilities were scheduled in advance to minimise the adverse impact on the hawkers and daily life of the neighbourhood.
Moreover, concerns remained with regard to the standard of the Emergency Vehicular Access (EVA). Due to the existing sloping Graham Street and Gage Street on both sides of the site, EVA for firefighting and rescue purpose are far from sufficient. In order to mitigate the substandard EVA, the residential tower and podium are equipped with a staircase pressurisation system which provides additional air pressure within the escape staircases and limits the amount of smoke entering the stairway in case of a fire.
Given the prestigious views of the Mid-Levels and Victoria Harbour, it was difficult to strike a balance between the use of large glazing panels on building envelopes and the extra energy consumption on air conditioning of the residential units. A curtain wall system with low-e glass panels is therefore adopted so that residents can enjoy optimal views, while energy use in mechanical ventilation is kept to a minimum.
Construction activities inevitably create air, noise, water pollutions, etc. To minimise nuisance to the surroundings, especially in a highly congested area, LWK + PARTNERS decided to use precast facade panels which greatly reduced the construction waste generated on site such as timber formwork and reinforcement bars and shortened the overall construction period significantly.
Being the first phase to be completed for the whole redevelopment scheme at Peel Street/Graham Street, a pair of Future Footbridge Associated Structure (FFAS) is provided to connect the adjoining Sites A and C as an extension of the pedestrian footbridge system of Central. The design has made reference to the ACABAS submission of the other two phases to provide a coherent pedestrian network across the mid-levels.
1,690 square metres
Gross Floor Area
17,789 square metres
Residential tower and podium: 37 storeys — 127 metres;
Market block: 8 metres
Number of Rooms/Units
185 residential units & 12 shops
Urban Renewal Authority Cheung Kong (Holdings) Limited
LWK + PARTNERS