Arrangements for preservation of the Queen's Pier (April 2007)
We treasure the historical, social and cultural values of the Queen’s Pier and considered it worthy of conservation. The pier, which forms part of the Edinburgh Square, encapsulates the collective memory of Hong Kong people, and demarcates the location of our coastline at a particular point of time. In order to conserve the true historical, social, cultural and architectural value due efforts should be made to achieve in-situ conservation of the entire structure and the setting. Time, place, matters and people are the four major elements in recording history and place (buildings) will last for a long time to tell the stories. The option to relocate or to re-provision would only be the last resort if in-situ conservation is proven to be not feasible at all.
The HKIP advocates a pragmatic approach to resolve the issue. While it is recognized that the current development proposal is legitimate and have gone through due statutory process, there are public demand on the in-situ conservation of the buildings and setting. In this respect there should be thorough exploration of the in-situ preservation options before a decision is made.
In the event proposal (d) were to be adopted Government must ensure that the pitched roof, the columns and the balustrades, bollards and handrails are to be preserved. The location and the setting for the preserved pier should be one of the most important subject which has to be studied carefully in the Central Reclamation Urban Design Study to be carried out by the Planning Department. Public consultation on this aspect should be carried out early and the result should be used as input to the study. The public should also be consulted on the recommendation put forward by the study. The study process and recommendations should be transparent to the public.
Both the clock tower from the Star Ferry and the structure of the Queen’s Pier should remain as landmarks of the waterfront area. The adjoining areas should maintain low-rise so that the clock tower can be visible from a distance. Visual relationship with the neighbouring uses should be carefully considered. The design of the proposed ground scraper in the CDA zone should give priority to and integrate with the conserved structures for compatible design and use. Innovative design with interlocking open space and landscaped promenade should be provided. Water features may be designed to complement and to preserve the functions of the clock tower of the Star Ferry and Queen’s Pier to give more character to this part of Central reclamation. Possible adaptive uses for the preserved pier building may include transport museum, art gallery, time corridor, alfresco dining, farmers market and tourism related uses, etc.
In order to facilitate the implementation of the CRIII without much delay while a feasible option on the future of the Queen’s Pier is being genuinely considered, the Government should proceed with time consuming statutory procedures including gazette of the P2 road immediately to save time in the event the in-situ preservation option is found to be feasible.
Public Affairs Committee
Hong Kong Institute of Planners