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Bank of China Tower, Hong Kong

Everybody’s favourite Hong Kong Skyscraper


Bank of China Tower, Admiralty, Hong Kong

Related Post: Fancy taking a trip to the Bank of China Tower Observation Deck? Check out my post for more photos from the 43rd floor.

Hong Kong’s most recognisable building

If Hong Kong is the city of skyscrapers, no other building embodies this journey skywards more than the Bank of China Tower. An icon of the city and seemingly everybody’s favourite Hong Kong high-rise, the Bank of China Tower has had almost twenty-five years in which to cement its place as Hong Kong’s most recognisable building. There may have been newer, more lofty skyscrapers thrown up in the meantime, but despite the new arrivals, the Bank of China Tower still remains the skyscraper by which the Hong Kong skyline is defined.

Positioned smack in the centre of the action on Hong Kong Island, with an unobstructed view across the harbour, the Bank of China Tower was the tallest building in Asia when it opened in 1990 and the first outside America to top 1000 feet. At 72 stories and 367 metres, it is currently the fourth tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong behind ICC, IFC and Central Plaza. But what it lacks in relative stature when compared with the new generation of cloud-shrouded superscrapers, it more than makes up for in character.

As one of the first of Hong Kong’s modern skyscrapers, the Bank of China still seems thoroughly contemporary. With its strange geometry and mesmerizing lights snaking up and down, its more than just a straight up, straight down totem to mundanity. There’s some kind of expression in the design, along with functionality, and that’s why everybody loves it. It’s the centrepiece of the skyline, the star of the Symphony of Lights, and it’s also pretty good to photograph.


All decked out for Chinese New Year in the ground floor lobby


One Garden Road, Hong Kong

Feng shui or not feng shui?

It hasn’t always been this way of course. Designed by I. M. Pei, the building was the subject of controversy right from the start. Said to have been designed with the idea of sprouting bamboo shoots in mind symbolising growth and prosperity, the building was immediately attacked for having not consulted feng shui experts prior to its construction. The angular design, in particular the many triangles and crosses it incorporates, are said to be classic examples of bad feng shui, while the twin masts on top of the building could easily be seen as resembling a pair of incense sticks burning for the dead.

Nevertheless, inauspicious leanings or not, it hasn’t stopped the Bank of China Tower going on to become arguably Hong Kong’s preeminent architectural landmark. It may not have the classic grandeur of my personal favourite Hong Kong skyscraper Central Plaza, but viewed from across the harbour, particularly at night, it outshines its taller neighbours with that certain something that sets it apart from the rest.

Opening Hours: You can take a trip up to the 43rd floor Bank of China Tower viewing deck from Monday to Friday, 8am to 8pm, and Saturdays from 8am until 2pm. Sundays are closed.

Related Posts: Click category: skyscrapers for more Hong Kong skyscraper photos

Prints & Downlaods: Photos are available as prints and licensed downloads via the galleries section.


The building was the tallest building in Asia between 1989 and 1992

Bank of China Tower in Numbers

1: Located at 1 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong

4: Currently the fourth tallest building in Hong Kong

17: The building was officially opened on 17th May 1990

43: There is an observation deck located on the 43rd floor

49: The building uses 49 elevators

72: Storeys tall

367.4: Metres in height

135,000: Metres-squared of floor space within the building

1 billion: Hong Kong dollars paid to secure the land. It was said at the time that the price was far below market value and led to accusations of favouritism from the government towards Chinese companies.

Bank of China Tower, Central, hong kongbank-of-china-night-hong-kong

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