Edition 2 | October 2013
News & views from MAP Architecture & Planning.

The New Sino Plaza – A New York Classic in Causeway Bay

The new luxury retail Sino Plaza shopping centre in Causeway Bay is soon to open; this MAP project is a shining example of how inspired revitalisation projects can easily capture brand identity.

Due to MAP’s demonstrated experience in adding value to large complex A&A works, MAP was commissioned by Sino Land to design the revitatlisation of its flag ship property. MAP identified Sino Land as a client with a large portfolio of buildings - some of which could benefit from the MAP revitalisation treatment. MAP relishes the challenge A&A work brings and enjoys designing and leading the transformation from old to new.

Sino Land’s initial idea and MAP’s initial concepts were to convert the retail podium to an ION Orchard (Shopping Centre, Singapore) modernist design. However, after exploring the re-engineering of the access strategy and larger retail spaces on the ground floor as well as modernist architectural expressions, Sino Land reverted to the style that is right for its brand - Classic Modern Architecture. In this case, from the New York School of Post Modernism.

In the 1980s, Ed Billson worked for Philip Johnson, one of the great 20th Century architects and father of Post Modernism. Therefore, it was easy to redesign and re-tender the renovations in this style. Concept and documentation were completed in just two months and the project was ready to start.

The culmination of the external façade design and interior design provided by MAP, in partnership with Daryl Ng, Executive Director, Sino Land and his PM team, is a calm, classy, classically modern appearance, giving greater transparency to the office tower lobby and providing clean retail space.

The classical detailing is very restrained externally but sufficient to achieve the desired expression. The materials are French limestone and bronze metallic curtain wall with low E highlight transmission glass.

Classical details flow internally with decorative hanging lights in the main lift lobby and a dramatic barisol fabric bronze vaulted ceiling which is uplit from the bronze brackets in the corners. The floor has a dramatic geometric floor pattern in Mahogany Marble and Crema Marfil. An existing wall sculpture was retained and appears new in its enhanced surroundings.

The lift car ‘modernist materials’ had been purchased previously however, MAP thoughtfully re-designed them without compromising on the classical design intent and using 75% of the pre-purchased materials. 

As advertising is a large revenue earner for the site, a challenge was the seamless integration of the billboard into the façade of a classical design. MAP addressed this by extending the billboard for the full length of the façade and around the corner into Gloucester and Purves Road. Interestingly, the premium advertising space is not from LED video walls but from high resolution still images that are flood lit at night and visible 24 hours a day.

The third floor penthouse presented a further time and budgetary challenge. In the end, deciding to finish the refurbishment at the parapet level of the podium allowed the penthouse to blend into the tower behind for no cost and no time penalty.

Get your credit cards ready - the Sino Plaza luxury retail shopping centre is soon to open. MAP looks forward to hosting a cocktail party in the lobby upon completion.

<View the Sino Land brochure on this project>

Project Overview

  • Service: Master Planning, A&A (Refurbishment)
  • Sector: Retail 
  • Client: Sino Land
  • Size:  6,500m²
  • Budget: $100m HKD

Value by Design

  • Redesign, documentation & tender in two months
  • Classical Modern
  • New York Inspired
Facade & Billboards
Lift Interior (above left)
Concept Render (very top)
Office Lobby Area (above right)

The Double-Edged Sword of Brand

MAP in BRW Magazine

On a quick visit to Australia recently to conduct some research (and a little R&R), MAP founder, Ed Billson, was interviewed by Australia’s preeminent business magazine, BRW. In his open and frank interview, Ed, and other leading architects talk about the challenges of building brand, and how crucial it is for architectural firms to have brand-name clients. <Read the full story>.
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