Posted August 2010


Cause of Impact

The construction of the underground station at Admiralty will require an above-ground station entrance and ventilation shafts. There is also a need for works site offices, construction shafts and areas for construction material storage. Much of the land required for the construction works is in the existing Harcourt Garden area.

A ventilation shaft will be constructed near the southern entrance of Hong Kong Park, adjacent to Supreme Court Road.

These works areas will be visible from local:

  • Residences
  • Workplaces;
  • Recreational landscapes; and
  • Public roads.

Proposed Remedies

Construction

During construction, the following remedies will be applied:

  • Designing the above ground station facilities so they take up a minimum amount of land while still providing enough space for railway operation and fulfilling the design constraints;
  • Redesigning Harcourt Garden with a modern park/landscape deck approach, including a large lawn area and a plaza space;
  • Using a responsive design so that the building components blend in with the surroundings as much as possible and maximize the planting opportunities for vegetation reinstatement;
  • Designing the new ventilation shafts so they combine with the existing ones and those of concurrent projects;
  • Designing the works areas to minimize the visual impacts of materials storage, site accommodation and site lighting, including the use of decorative screen hoardings;
  • Preservation of existing trees and other vegetation in their current location wherever possible; Tree preserved whenever possible
  • Preservation of existing trees through transplantation where required; and Tree replanted
  • Replanting/replacement of disturbed vegetation at roadside areas at the earliest possible stage of the construction phase.

Operation

During railway operation, the following remedies will be applied:

General

  • Planting new trees and vegetation in all areas where plants have been disturbed, with these integrated with existing trees/vegetation;
  • Compensatory planting of trees and shrubs in all suitable available spaces, including roadside planters;
  • Using soft landscape works including tree and shrub planting to give man-made slopes a more natural appearance; and
  • Treatment of built structures to reduce their apparent visual mass through the use of natural materials such as vertical greening and natural tones for building finishes.

Harcourt Garden

Restoring Harcourt Garden with a landscape deck design that includes the following features:

  • Building a terraced garden/landscape deck area that makes the best use of the available site;
  • Building a clock tower alongside the grand staircase between the low level garden and the landscape deck, which will be perceived as the icon of the future Harcourt Garden;
  • Building the east-side of the Garden with a large lawn area and formal arrangement of trees to connect the public to Harcourt Road and the walkway serving the Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts;
  • Building a large plaza space in the south-side of the Garden (the main entrance to the park from Queensway);
  • Providing shaded seating areas;
  • Providing convenient and comfortable public access from underground to street and footbridge levels via the West terrace gardens and landscape deck;
  • Providing grand staircases on the east façade, at a gradual incline to assist in public movement from the lower part of Harcourt Garden (street level) to the terrace gardens/landscape deck levels;
  • Planting the terraced edges of the landscape deck with lush vegetation to visually soften the building edges;
  • Using a variety of plants to provide different colours, shapes and types; and
  • Using natural materials and colours for paving and other landscape materials.

Hong Kong Park

  • Treating the façade of the Hong Kong Park ventilation shaft building with various types of natural materials to disguise its functional appearance, and where possible, using greening measures on the roof and/or building façade; and
  • New planting of trees and shrubs in roadside planting, integrated with existing Old and Valuable Trees (OVTs).

Results

The results of applying the various remedies to the disturbed areas are demonstrated in the photomontages (see links above).

Construction

During construction, some residences, workplaces, recreational landscapes and public roads will have their views impacted by the works sites. The extent of this disruption will be reduced through applying the remedies listed above.

Operation

On completion of construction, Harcourt Garden will be replaced by a new terraced garden/landscape deck area. The new garden facilities will connect with footbridges and will provide direct access to surrounding developments, including Citic Tower and the new Government Headquarters. This will effectively maximize the garden area and increase the facilities available to the users of Harcourt Garden, which will encourage a greater use of the garden.