Home » Destination North Asia » Currently Reading:

A first-look into Farrells’ contribution to Hong Kong’s urban development over 25 years

March 29, 2016 Destination North Asia No Comments Print Print Email Email

Farrells - Farrells, Hong Kong's iconic Peak Tower project (2)Farrells, the award winning British design firm behind iconic structures such as MI6 Headquarters in London, Beijing South Station and Hong Kong’s Peak Tower, celebrate their 25th anniversary in Hong Kong this April with URBAN DIALOGUE, a dual exhibition supported by a workshop, a forum, lecture and curator’s tours that offer an in-depth look inside the architect planner’s process and an understanding of the place of the individual in urban design. All events are open to the public and free of charge.

Farrells have made a significant contribution to Hong Kong’s development over the last 25 years, with train stations, business and cultural districts and leisure facilities, all forming an integral part in shaping the city’s urban spaces. Projects include the design of the iconic Peak Tower, masterplanning of the new urban district and major transportation hub of West Kowloon, and the new Kennedy Town MTR station and swimming pool. All of these projects first and foremost takes account of community, building for the people and their needs.

URBAN DIALOGUE introduces Farrells’ design practice that includes creating and fostering community as an integral part of the architectural and planning process, and the resultant urban fabric. Through a process of immersion, observation and research, the team at Farrells have developed a unique approach to urban design by discovering ‘what a place is telling you it wants to be’.

The dual exhibition gives insight and first-hand experience of the designs made famous not only in Hong Kong but globally through James Bond’s films Skyfall, A View to a Kill and Licence to Kill. Attracting tourists and visitors will be the 4m tall snow globe at the Peak that encompasses the original architectural models crafted by the Farrells team 25 years ago, which won them the project to build the iconic tower. For those that want to be more involved with the topic of urban design in Hong Kong and internationally, additional activities* have been organised during the two week period at the Fringe Club.

With over 50 years of practice, Sir Terry Farrell CBE, the Mayor of London’s Design Advisor (recently voted as the individual who made the Greatest Contribution to London’s Planning and Development over the last 10 years) has grown Farrells into an award winning international architect planners.

“As we face unprecedented urbanisation on a global scale, the role of urban design in shaping the constantly evolving environment has never been more important,” says Stefan Krummeck, Director of Farrells. “The exhibition focuses on some key examples of this ‘urban dialogue’ by using the designer’s most important tools, sketches, moving images and three-dimensional models, to take us through the complex process of urban design.  From ‘thinking aloud’, the ‘analytical type’ and the ‘explanatory type’ each type of visual tool introduces the viewer to the process of urban design.”

Farrells - Portrait of Sir Terry Farrell

Exhibition details, venues and dates:

URBAN DIALOGUE, 15 to 30 April 2016

G/F, The Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong

Opening Hours:

Monday- Saturday 12pm-10pm

Closed Sunday

At the Fringe Club, URBAN DIALOGUE reveals Farrells’ profound understanding of how cities work and how they can be improved, each project responding to the different considerations and the unique circumstances inherent to each location.

Farrells’ master planning and design proposals for the new urban district and major transportation hub of West Kowloon built entirely on reclaimed land required close study and observation of how the new district would relate to the geography, culture and  history of adjacent neighbourhoods accounting for the lifestyles and habits of their residents. The commercial and residential development of KK100 in Shenzhen was created through the formation of a unique partnership with the villagers of Caiwuwei who were the original occupants of the site to create the tallest building designed by a British architect.  Sensitive both to the needs of the public and to the unique history of one of Hong Kong’s oldest districts, Farrells adapted the designs of the new Kennedy Town MTR station and swimming pool to preserve the area’s 120 year old banyan trees, and provide a more sensitive urban design solution.

URBAN DIALOGUE – Icons by Farrells, 15 to 30 April 2016

Shop 101, Level 1, The Peak Tower, 128 Peak Road, Hong Kong

Opening Hours:

Monday- Friday 10am-11pm,

Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 8am-11pm

The exhibition URBAN DIALOGUE – Icons by Farrells will be held at the Peak Tower generously sponsored by Peak Tramways. Opened to the public in 1997, the Peak Tower was Farrells’ first project in Asia and has become a cherished landmark for Hong Kong, its unique crescent shape inspiring many interpretations.  In addition to highlighting recent architectural landmarks designed by Farrells, visitors will be able to enter the Peak Tower Glitter Dome featuring the original Peak Tower model, the photogenic fun centre piece of the exhibition, which celebrates the joy and pleasure that the building continues to bring to millions of visitors from all over the world.

*Public Activities Organised by Farrells:

WORKSHOP: URBAN DIALOGUE: Shaping Hong Kong, Saturday 16 April 2016

1/F, The Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong

2pm – 4pm

Limited seating, RSVP: [email protected]

In both the literal and symbolic sense, Victoria Harbour is the heart of Hong Kong. It is integral to our heritage and an international icon. Today, there is a growing interest in developing a holistic vision for the harbourfront that celebrates this great natural asset.

This workshop seeks to foster a dialogue on the future of the harbour realm. Farrells will present on related urban design experience here and abroad. Participants will then break into groups to discuss specific planning issues and generate ideas. We shall then reconvene and add our ideas to a giant model of the harbour area. Like completing a big puzzle, we shall put the pieces together to form a broad vision for tomorrow’s Victoria Harbour.

LECTURE: URBAN DIALOGUE: The City as a Tangled Bank, Thursday 7 April 2016

by Sir Terry Farrell

The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Yasumoto International Academic Park (CUHK YIA), Lecture Room LT2


Limited seating, RSVP: [email protected]

Sir Terry Farrell, who has built an international career as an architect-planner, encourages other planners and architects to follow the biologists—look at, learn from, and, indeed, admire the nature of the forces that drive the change, and then with humility and respect work with them to nudge, anticipate and prepare for where it takes us. Searching for patterns within the apparent turbulence and complexity, he analyses the notions of urban design and urban evolution and examines whether or not they need necessarily be seen as opposing one another. The lecture will explore emergence as an idea in a biological and architectural context, as well as the distinction between urban design and planning in both education and practice, and the impact of other fields such as landscape design. He will also examine a range of themes embracing the importance of chain reactions in the progress of urban engineering; the character of habitation; layering; taste and context; adaptation and conversion; the advocacy of the architect-planner; and the effects of digital technology on city evolution elucidating his thoughts with examples from cities across the world, including Beijing, Hong Kong, London, New York, and Paris.

Farrells - Farrells South Korea's Incheon International Airport project (1)

FORUM: URBAN DIALOGUE: City making in the 21st Century, Tuesday 19 April 2016

G/F, The Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong

6.30pm – 8.30pm

Moderator: Colin Fournier, Visiting Professor, School of Architecture, CUHK


Sir Terry Farrell CBE, Principal, Farrells

Stefan Krummeck, Director, Farrells

Peter Cookson Smith, President, HKIUD and Director, Urbis

Paul Zimmerman, CEO, Designing Hong Kong & Pokfulam District Councillor

Professor Nelson Chen, Director, School of Architecture at CUHK

K.K. Ling JP, Director of Planning, Planning Department

Limited seating, RSVP: [email protected]

Hong Kong is an internationally-unique urban model, defined by the tripartite tenets of high population density, transit-oriented development, and limited urban extent. In many ways the city represents a template for sustainable urban development, but we are also facing challenges. Climate change, air pollution is worsening, congestion increasing, population is growing and housing affordability is high as land becomes increasingly scarce. The forum will address how we grow and adapt to remain “Asia’s World City” – an attractive, vibrant place to live and visit.

This forum, held on the occasion of Farrells’ 25th anniversary in Hong Kong, will bring together a panel of noted urban thinkers for a lively and engaging discussion on the most pressing urban design issues facing our city.

URBAN DIALOGUE Curator Tours, Saturdays, 23 April and 30 April 2016

G/F, The Fringe Club, 2 Lower Albert Road, Central, Hong Kong



Limited seating, RSVP: [email protected]

Comment on this Article:

Time limit is exhausted. Please reload CAPTCHA.

Platinium Partnership


Elite Partnership Sponsors


Premier Partnership Sponsors


Official Media Event Partner


Global Travel media endorses the following travel publication