- 1 Queen's Road, Central, Hong Kong Island
HSBC Main Building
Height: 178.8 metres
Architect: Lord Norman Foster
HSBC Main Building is the first building of its size in Hong Kong constructed entirely of structural steel without any reinforced concrete in its inner core. Designed by renowned British architect Lord Norman Foster, this hi-tech building in Central is a marvel of modern architectural design. Natural sunlight is the main source of light inside the building, with a bank of mirrors directing it into the atrium. Heat gain is also prevented by sunshades and the building’s air conditioning system uses sea water as its coolant. At the time of construction the HSBC Main Building was the most expensive building in the world, with a price tag of over $650 million.
The lions guarding the building’s entrance, Stephen and Stitt, have a colourful past; remnants of which can be seen in the form of bullet holes on Stephen’s left flank. Getting caught in crossfire was not the only adventure the pair had during the Second World War. They were also sent to Japan to be melted down, but were saved at the sudden end of the conflict when an American sailor recognised them as they lay stranded in an Osaka dockyard. Highly revered by HSBC, they are also popular with locals who stroke their noses and paws for good luck.