Palmer and Turner Architects Connaught Place, Central 1970-1972 The Connaught Centre, now known as the Jardine House, was commissioned by Hongkong Land Properties in 1970 following the company’s acquisition of the newly reclaimed property. It was the tallest building in the city following its completion in 1972. The building was one of the first modern office skyscrapers in the city, with four-sided open floor plates, a zoned lift system, and a central utility core emblematic of prototypical American skyscraper design at the time. At the time of its construction, the building was specifically designed to integrate with its urban surroundings in ways that are both fundamentally modern and innovative for its time. It was connected to the city’s older business district via a footbridge across Connaught Road. The structure’s two-storeyed foyer was designed to open directly onto an adjacent public open plaza, which includes several modern sculptures and horizontal reflection pools that echo early modern iconic works like the Seagram Building, completed by Mies van der Rohe in 1954. The building was also lifted half a level to allow public access to a subterranean shopping center. A footbridge was subsequently added to connect the building to the Central pedestrian bridge system. Its circular windows also echo other notable modern buildings completed at the time, including the Capsule Building in Tokyo, designed by Kisho Kurokawa in 1972.
– Edward Leung