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Central Plaza, Hong Kong

It tells the time, you know!


Central Plaza from above Wan Chai, bringing a certain grandeur to the Hong Kong skyline

Related Post: Check out my post Central Plaza Hong Kong: Up in the Sky Lobby for photos from the 46th floor.

Hong Kong’s Grandest Skyscraper

It may look like the space rocket from 1980s cartoon Button Moon, but Central Plaza is perhaps the most elegant of all the Hong Kong skyscrapers. Completed in 1992 and standing 374 m tall, Central Plaza is 78 storeys of high-rise chunkiness that dominates the Wan Chai skyline and maybe even that of Hong Kong Island itself.

With its gleaming spire and geometrical shape, the building has an almost Empire State Building look to it – it’s sheer sides and triangular form towering like an upturned toblerone over the rooves below. While all around it uniform blocks rise up rather unspectacularly, Central Plaza brings a certain grandeur to the Hong Kong skyline. Particularly at night, its amber lighting set against the darkness of its body lends the building a kind of aloof dignity with which it’s more flashy neighbours just can’t compete.

It was the tallest building in Asia when it opened, a title it held until 1996 when it was surpassed by the Shun Hing Square skyscraper in Shenzhen. It was also the tallest reinforced concrete building in the world before the opening of Guangzhou’s CITIC Plaza and is the current third tallest building in Hong Kong behind the International Commerce Centre and Two IFC.

Central Plaza main lobby, Hong Kong

Main lobby during Chinese New Year

City & Architecture

Hong Kong skyline abstract

The Central Plaza Clock

Not only is Central Plaza possessed of dashing good looks, it is also notable for housing the world’s highest urban church. Located in the building’s apex on the 75th floor, three floors from the top, the Sky City Church allows visitors to join in with some sky-high worshipping every Sunday at 11:00am. There is also a Sky Lobby on the 46th floor that gives a 360° view of the city below. The lobby is used as a transfer for employees to the upper floors of the building but anybody can take one of the shuttle lifts directly from the main lobby to check out the views.

And those four neon lights just below the mast? They’re not just there for decoration. Every evening between 6pm and 6am, the four lights change colour, each in turn from top to bottom every fifteen minutes. Each hour is represented by a different colour with the start of a new hour signaled when all four lights are the same.

At 6pm, for example, all four lights will be red, changing to white at 7pm, purple at 8pm, yellow at 9pm, pink at 10pm and green at 11pm, before the cycle  starts again at midnight. It may be easier to buy a watch, but it’s a pretty cool feature nonetheless. You can see an animation of the Central Plaza clock on the building’s website.

How to Get There

Central Plaza is located at 18 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island. An over-ground walkway leads from Wan Chai MTR Station, Exit A5, all the way to the building’s main lobby.

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

Prints & Downloads: Photos are available for purchase as prints or downloads in my Hong Kong Galleries.


Central Plaza in Numbers

1: Tallest building in Asia from 1992 to 1996.

3: Currently the third tallest building in Hong Kong

8: Meters/second for the five non-stop lifts to the 46th floor Sky Lobby

15: The neon clock at the bottom of the mast changes colour at 15 minute intervals between 6pm and 6am

18: Located at 18 Harbour Road, Wan Chai, Hong Kong Island

39: High-speed lifts in use within the building

78: Storeys tall

102: Metres in height of the building’s mast

378.4: Meters in height of the entire structure

720: Tonnes of granite used in the building’s construction covering 40,060 sq.m

6000: Meters of neon tubing used to create the building’s exterior light scheme

3.3 billion: Hong Kong dollars paid to secure the land rights


The Central Plaza Sky Lobby on the 46th floor gives a 360° view of Hong Kong

Central Plaza plaque in the main lobby

Central Plaza plaque in the main lobby

One comment

  1. Such a cool post – I’ve been to this building a number of times and never paid much attention. You captured it in great shots and told me something that is completely new to me, the four changing lights actually have a meaning! Ruth from http://bluebalu.wordpress.com/

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