Hong Kong’s skyscraper bedecked skyline boasts several landmark buildings designed by the some of world’s best-known architects. Sir Norman Fosters’ HSBC headquarters, Paul Randolph’s koala bear inspired Lippo Building, the jagged edged Bank of China tower by I.M.Pei and the César Pelli designed behemoths, the International Finance Center and Cheung Kong Center never fail to evoke wonder.
Since 2012, another architectural marvel called the Opus has been added to the list. However, unlike the above-mentioned office towers, the Opus is a magnificent, design-forward residential building situated in the midst of lush greenery on 53 Stubbs Road in the Mid Levels East neighborhood, halfway up the Peak. The plot on which this stunning edifice stands has belonged to Hong Kong’s Swire Properties group for over forty years. It until recently played host to a residence occupied by a senior executive of the firm. The dwelling was recently demolished to make way for the Opus.
The heads at Swire Properties decided to bring in legendary, Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry to construct a truly innovative edifice at the site, which would be like no other. Gehry is famed for his revolutionary one of a kind builds. The titanium covered Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the futuristic Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris, the lofty 8 Spruce Street, in downtown New York City, along with many others feature in his portfolio. Gehry was entranced by the location the plot at 53 Stubbs as soon as he saw it. He then went on to design a masterpiece that is the Opus, his first foray into residential real estate in Asia.
Gehry is an architect who is very environmentally conscious. He and his extensively used software called Building Information Modeling during the design process. In order to create a low carbon footprint building without sacrificing quality, the team built various digital models to identify the best location and style suited for the building. Gehry further wanted to maximize the amount light, and air received by the building while minimizing its heat index. The digital models helped him create an energy-efficient structure with the minimum construction waste.
Gehry wished the building to be ‘organic’, i.e., in tune with its natural surroundings. The resultant structure, unlike Hong Kong’s numerous other skyscrapers, doesn’t beam up skywards. Rather the twelve-storied Opus appears to twist upwards and spreads out to resemble a flower in bloom rather than a single narrow column. The avant-garde building features a sandstone and glass helical structure that is supported by glass-enclosed columns. The structure thus has no need for external support walls. These clear glass columns twist around the building and evoke the image of bamboo reeds swaying gently in the breeze.
The Opus houses 12 luxurious apartments, including two duplex lower level apartments outfitted with private swimming pools and gardens. The ten floors above these garden-level apartments host one apartment each for maximum privacy. These palatial apartments vary in size from 6000 to 6400square feet (4,819 – 5,444 square feet saleable area).
Given the unique structure of the building that twists as it ascends, no two apartments at the Opus have the same floor plans. However, it is necessary to mention that all the apartments at the Opus are very spacious with more than sufficient living space. On offer at each dwelling are well-demarcated living and dining rooms, four bedrooms in addition to the master suite, a study, a kitchen and a utility room.
Additionally, these sumptuous abodes are kitted out with floor to ceiling windows, which afford unending stunning vistas of the teeming city, Victoria Harbor and the building’s lush, green surroundings. Mr. Gehry, in fact, wanted these views to be the chief showpiece at the apartments. The tall windows open onto teak, boat deck balconies that wrap-round the building and project into the sky. All these various ingenious design aspects have rendered the apartments at Opus incredibly bright and airy. The swish apartments are but naturally outfitted with all the modern conveniences of urban living including sensor-controlled air conditioning and heating. The building has an underground car park and also has a facility to charge batteries of electric cars. Rainwater harvesting and recycling for irrigation is another green initiative available at the Opus.
Two amber stone towers located on the southeast and southwest corners of the building house the kitchens and the utility rooms of each apartment. The square windows of these rooms are jauntily placed in a manner that is characteristic of Gehry’s designs. However, there is logic to this madness so as to speak, for the windows are so placed in order to reduce the admittance of bright light at sunrise and sunset. The clubhouse of the Opus is housed on the rooftop of the building. This tranquil sanctuary is equipped with a fitness center and three free-form outdoor infinity pools, a natural extension of the building’s flowing design.
Big, square planters encased in Spanish limestone hug the base of the Opus with a deliberate haphazardness. These planters further accentuate the artful ascent of the glass columns that rise to the top of the building, as they seek to link the verdant environs with the living spaces contained within the Opus. Swire Properties itself provides the concierge and security services for the super-exclusive Opus. When the building firstopened, Swire Properties designated it to be a rental building, but the company is willing to consider offers for sale if the price is in line with its expectations.
Does the idea of residing at a Frank Gehry original excite you? Are you considering a rental at the fabulous Opus or perhaps even an acquisition? Engel and Voelkers Hong Kong in its capacity as a luxury real estate specialist can help you with your mission.
Get in touch with us without further delay and allow us to help you turn your real estate dreams into reality.