AIRSIDE is a flagship development in Kowloon East’s Kai Tak area, Hong Kong’s next-generation CBD.  

With cutting-edge sustainable solutions, the iconic landmark redefines the future of urban living. The development consists of two towers of 200m and 90m, with a 6-level podium and 4 levels of basement offering spaces for office, retail, leisure and entertainment. A 50m footbridge and underground tunnels connect the development to the adjacent neighbourhood and MTR station.

Working closely with Nan Fung Group, Arup provided total engineering solutions that transformed the former airport site into a people-oriented, inclusive and social community. Our services covered planning, structure, façade, traffic, sustainability, fire, digital, electrical and mechanical, geotechnics and civil engineering.

Total sustainability from a carbon based framework

With the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals as the development’s design blueprint, the team has built a new ‘CO₆ metrics’ framework – covering ‘community hub creation’, ‘comfortable & healthy environment’, ‘carbon dioxide (CO₂) reduction’, ‘conspicuous performance & consumption’ and ‘cost effective smart technology’.

Microclimate studies were conducted to shape the building form with an urban window, enhancing outdoor comfort and local wind environment. Water features have been crafted to reduce the heat island effect in compact urban environment.

Our holistic approach turned the project into Hong Kong’s first private development to receive five highest sustainable building certifications, including platinum pre-certification of US LEED®, final platinum certification of Hong Kong BEAM Plus New Buildings and Neighbourhood, and final 3-Star certification of the China Green Building Design Label.

Smart solutions for occupant convenience

Several cutting-edge technologies were deployed in a human-centric design approach, redefining the customer and tenant experience. In addition to seamless wireless internet access, the connectivity statistics can be utilised to facilitate business growth through dwell time and customer behaviour analysis. Empowered by AI technology, we provided advanced customer analytics through people counting and a video analytic system. The system also allows queue management and crowd detection. 

Moreover, Neuron, Arup’s self-developed AI smart building console has been implemented. The centralised building information management and asset management system, operations and facilities management can be optimised through real-time monitoring of assets, predictive maintenance and task scheduling.

Fast-track construction 

The towers are integrated with the retail podium to form a unified building profile, featuring multiple sloping geometries and terraces. Our structural engineers designed the sloping, steel-reinforced concrete composite columns to form the varying profiles on all four sides of the north main tower, and transfer structures at multiple podium locations. 

The 23m-deep basement provides space for various usage, including underground retail space, loading and unloading area, district cooling system plantroom and carpark. To enable a fast-track construction, our structure and geotechnical team adopted a hybrid ‘semi-top-down’ construction sequence using high strength steel stanchions, allowing simultaneous construction of the superstructure and basement box structure, as well as early fit-out of critical basement plant rooms. The scheme allowed the programme to be reduced by seven months.

Integrating form, function and performance 

The buildings boast slightly curved façades made of fluted glass, designed as a nod to Nan Fung’s historic textile business. The design concept is inspired by draped fabric, evident in the lower façade which consists of both flat and curved panels. The curved façade panels found on parts of the two office towers and the podium, vary in curvature to reflect a sine wave, gradually increasing in degree as they descend and taper off. The unique design creates a continuity in the façade resembling the graceful movement of fabric.

Our façade and MEP teams also worked closely to harmonise the MEP elements, such as external louvres on the building envelope to maintain the architect’s design intent. To provide a spacious interior in the retail area, our structural and MEP engineers optimised SMEP zones against the complex building geometry. 
The high atrium and deep basement posed fire safety challenges. Working closely with our MEP team, our fire engineers came up with a series of solutions to make these features possible without compromising fire safety. These included a tailored smoke extraction and fire suppression systems, consisting of long throw sprinklers and gas suppression.

Linking to the heart of Hong Kong’s CBD

AIRSIDE is intelligently connected to the city’s transportation systems with an MTR connection as well as a public bus transportation terminus. An underground shopping street is also planned, improving connectivity to surrounding developments to increase leasable space. The development will also provide an automatic underground bicycle parking system, the first-of-its-kind in Hong Kong.

Our transport consulting team managed the design and planning of the transport facilities including ingress/egress, internal traffic circulation, parking, loading/unloading and pedestrian connectivity to the public transport and elevated walkways – optimising the intrinsic and real value of the development. 

Award wins

  • Green Building Awards 2023 - Grand Award in New buildings category: completed projects - commercial  

  • HKIE Structural Excellence Award 2023 - Commendation Merit in Hong Kong non-residential projects category

  • MIPIM Asia Award 2023 - Gold Award in Best mixed-use project category

  • MIPIM Asia Award 2023 - Gold Award in Best office and business project category 

  • HKIE Fire Engineering Excellence Award 2022 - Commendation Merit in Hong Kong project category

  • MIPIM Asia Awards 2020 - Gold Award in Best future project category

  • Green Building Award 2019 - Grand Award in New building category: projects under construction and/or design - commercial building)