AIRSIDE project from the developer Nan Fung’s point of view

AIRSIDE project from the developer Nan Fung’s point of view - Architecture/Design/Art
By Eugenio Venezia

An innovative commercial development that wants to embrace all the needs of urban life, from shopping to culture, from work to wellness, in complete connection with nature. More than a district, a vision: let’s discover AIRSIDE.

The Nan Fung Group today announced its plan for AIRSIDE, a 1.9 million sq. ft mixed-use commercial development in the Kai Tak area. The flagship project, which set a record HK$24.6 billion land bid in 2017, comprises of a 47-storey mixed-used development building including an over 30-storey Grade A office and a multi-storey retail complex with an interconnected underground shopping street. The total investment in the project will reach HKD$32 billion.
AIRSIDE embraces a new urban lifestyle concept of wholeness, inviting everyone and the community to gather at a place where you can be yourself and connect to others and nature. The development manifests Hong Kong’s contemporary urban metabolism through showcasing experiential retail and leisure spaces, while its sky-high neighbourhood will be where businesses can set their sights on the surroundings and expand their horizons, make new networks and create changes. The authentic streetscape will also be playing host to an array of cultural and entertainment events, allowing for a change of pace, for people to pause and for new perspectives to be developed in the urban everyday lives.

A Place for Wholeness
A New Landmark for the City
AIRSIDE is situated at the very heart of the Hong Kong’s CBD 2.0. It will be the tallest building in Kai Tak and thus offer unparalleled views of Victoria Harbour, the Kai Tak Area and CBD 2.0. The 200m high development will have Grade A offices that covers a gross floor area of 1.2 million sq. ft.
AIRSIDE is a significant anchor commercial development in the Kai Tak district. It offers multinational tenants a world’s leading network with its prime location, as well as providing a diversity of work, meeting spaces and supporting facilities. The vertical neighbourhood will connect thought-leaders and like-minded individuals to embrace work, life and well-being. AIRSIDE will be a convener of collaborations for unlimited business opportunities.
Steven Au, Deputy General Manager (Project) of Nan Fung Group said: “With the legacy of the former Kai Tak International airport, the new developments are designed to transform Kai Tak into a vibrant and attractive hub of heritage, commercial, residential, sports and tourism destination. AIRSIDE embraces wholeness encompassing of urban lifestyle, culture, wellbeing and connection to nature through its architecture and building fabric. Nan Fung has seized the crossover opportunities with key stakeholders in the area to lay down a good foundation in supporting the social and sustainable development of our community and city through AIRSIDE”.
Positioned on an Infrastructure Hub
At the premium location of Kowloon East’s infrastructure network and sitting on a public transport interchange for CBD 2.0, AIRSIDE is the hub to connect people from near and afar. It is conveniently linked to the basement of the Kai Tak MTR station, just 2 minutes’ walk from Kai Tak Station Square. Visitors will also pass along the Underground Shopping Street on the way to AIRSIDE. All major communities and nearby facilities are easily accessible on foot through a web of elevated walkways and bridges. With the Shatin-Central Line and Tuen-Ma Line just completed, Central will be just 15 minutes away, and Hong Kong International Airport and the Shenzhen border just 40 minutes away.

Redefining Urban Living
The sense of wholeness encompasses a balance of a wide range of activities, interests, art, entertainment and dining in a sustainable green environment that offers transformative feelings of wellbeing. The 700,000 sq. ft. shopping mall at AIRSIDE offers an authentic curation of experiential retail, world-class cuisine, and quality-living and leisure experiences. AIRSIDE offers cascading greenery, open-air rooftop, terraces and surrounding grounds that will constitute 33% of the site area. The rooftop garden and the vertical green wall provide moments of escape to fill the heart and soothe the soul. AIRSIDE is also a cultural hub, providing a broad spectrum of cultural programmes to encourage interpersonal engagement and thought exchange within the community.

Architectural Wonders
The AIRSIDE building has been crafted by Snøhetta, an internationally acclaimed architecture and design firm renowned for their unique interpretations of architecture and the surrounding environment. Their design was inspired by the intense fusion of natural elements, historic structure, and contemporary urban spaces in Hong Kong. AIRSIDE reflects this by inviting the outside in, while connecting seamlessly to some of the main surrounding features in the area including the Kai Tak Park and the Kai Tak River. The design highlight curated a gently curving façade composed of fluted glass is evocative of the textile that anchored Nan Fung Group’s historic industry, and is present throughout the project from the façade to the interior and landscape design.
In this vision, marble helped decorate the main hall of the building. The hall turns out to be as tall and wide as a cathedral, lending an elegant, but not cold, character endowed with a certain softness to the structure. The choice by the designers, for the walls, fell on Versilys marble, a natural stone characterized by a background animated by a mix of delicate greys and a characteristic pattern inclined toward gold, contrasting with the flooring, which was made using an exclusive white marble that gives depth to the environment. The grey tones of Versilys marble amalgamated in a spontaneous and lively way, bestow this special marble with character and distinctiveness.
To emphasize the dynamism that already distinguishes the material, the cladding of the central body was made to resemble projecting pilasters with alternating niches enhanced by points of light, generating an uncommon succession of chiaroscuro.

A Sustainable Vision
In supporting the pursuit of Nan Fung’s mission, the Sustainability Vision, “Do Well By Do Good”, rests on the belief in interdependence among stakeholders in the society, and it is fundamental to create shared value and prosperity for all, in order to generate sustainable returns to our shareholders. Such vision empowers all our divisions to integrate social and environmental elements into our complete value chain, ranging from financing and investment allocation, supply chain management and procurement, operations, organization and talent development, so as to create ideal win-win products and solutions, maximizing benefits to mankind, while minimizing negative impacts to natural resources and the planet.
There are 4 strategic pillars “SEWit” contributing to our Sustainability Vision: Social Cohesion, Environment, Wellness, Innovation and Technology.
AIRSIDE is also advocating a sustainable green lifestyle supported by unique facilities such as Hong Kong’s first ever automatic bicycle parking bay to encourage green mobility; sky farming; automated smart waste sorting and storage; a water-saving and rainwater retention strategy; and efficient centralised district-cooling and indoor air quality awareness that will make it one of the most environmentally-friendly landmarks in town.
The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals have been adopted as the design blueprint for AIRSIDE. Every sustainable design detail has been carefully crafted in line with this framework to make AIRSIDE the first building in Hong Kong to receive five highest green-building certifications. Nan Fung is striving to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050, in alignment with Hong Kong’s Climate Action Plan 2050 set out by the Hong Kong Governmnt.
Transforming the Urban Community
Nan Fung has a keen sense on the rich history of Hong Kong and many fond memories of Kai Tak. In this regard it is supporting the development of AIRSIDE not only as a premium CBD 2.0, but also as a prime cultural hub in Kowloon East. A series of community engagement activities starting by the end of 2020 will be created and integrated with the development of the wider area along the Kai Tak River, including San Po Kong and Kowloon City, to uncover the heritage of the area, reveal cultural stories and explore a new lifestyle of wholeness for Hong Kong.

Marmo 11, pag 50

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