The uplifting works along Aberdeen Harbour and Ap Lei Chau was aimed to preserve the features of a vibrant fishing port. Taking references from the traditional artefacts and fishing village lifestyle, the landscape design for the promenade celebrates the traditions through intricate weaving of the iconic design elements in a modern interpretation. The landscape spaces exude the old village charm allowing the older generations to reminisce the past while the aesthetically pleasing finishes and contemporary designs engage the younger generation to indulge and provide the much-needed vibrancy to the water edge. People who have passed most of their life on dry lands would find fishing life of Aberdeen very intriguing as conventional lifestyle still prevails in Aberdeen.
To enhance the Aberdeen area and highlight its unique character as a traditional fishing village.
To embrace the local culture and heritage of the residents and create a safe, sustainable and functional public space for the residents.
To create interesting destination points along the harbour and make it into a popular tourist destination for the visitors.
Aberdeen, the largest satellite town of Hong Kong city, is a vibrant waterfront harbour resort. It is unique in its character as it puts forward the traditional lifestyle and modernity on a single platter. Floating restaurants and sampan rides are highly acclaimed features of this tourist centre, which is one of Hong Kong’s oldest and most popular tour attractions. Visitors can cruise around the fishing port on a boat once boarding at the newly designed sampan piers. The proposed landscape design celebrates the lifestyle of the town to reflect the “Traditional Fishing Village” theme where the heritage and culture of the vibrant town comes alive. The design elements are consciously distributed to create new destination landmarks for the resident and the visitors alike. All these landscape components embrace the amalgamation of traditional symbols and modern interpretation creating a new unique identity. The design process prioritised the addressing of practical functional requirements for a safe and sustainable public space with active public consultations with the residents. The design developments were guided through these interactive workshops to engage the residents and ensure the new design spaces are well received and optimally utilised on an everyday basis. In view of its popularity with the tourists, additions were also made to create interest for the visitor. Feature walls with heritage montages, graphic patterns reliving the fishing boats, pavilions reflecting the sails, sculptures, information kiosks, cruise shelters all add to its contemporary fishing village charm.
Promenade Entrance Gateways
Establishing the “traditional fishing village” identity from the onset, the main entrances to the promenades along Aberdeen Harbour and Ap Lei Chau are designed along the features of stacked crates and boat shaped fins. Creative lighting along these elements make them identifiable from a distance and the forms create a strong visual impression on the visitors.
The elevated viewing deck along the promenade provides an excellent vantage point for the visitors and residents to relax and enjoy the breezy harbour edge and soak in the vibrant culture of the fishing port town. Keeping with the fishing village theme, large feature sails like the traditional fishing boats are designed as a sculptural element to create an iconic destination landmark. These sails form a distinct skyline along the harbour edge recreating the image of traditional sail boats moored along the water edge. The curved railing along the deck combined with the tapering structure edges add to the boat like shape of the entire deck element. The fishing nets on the sail feature with the timber elements along the deck further reinforce the theme. The sampan seating, small boatlike cabana structures along the decks are visually distinct and are recorded to be extremely popular with the residents and tourists alike.
Outdoor pavilions dotted along the promenade serve as the activity hub for the residents. They serve as meeting points for social interaction. Themed around the popular game of chess played by the local residents, these pavilions are designed to subtly reflect the amalgamation of water and traditional Chinese chess coins. While these Chinese fishing hut like pavilion structures serve the functional requirements for the residents, with the graphical theming and treatment, they also become important elements for the visitors to capture and remember.
Floating sail like elements are integrated along the promenade to mark event spaces where traditional performances can take place. They serve as excellent spaces to relax and enjoy the beautiful traditional art forms for the residents and tourists. The activities are programmed and conducted throughout the year to mark various festivals and traditional ceremonies.
Heritage Feature Walls and Signage
The unique cultural and heritage narrative is incorporated into the landscape design through elements like feature walls and signage. Key circulation nodes are flanked by linear feature wall elements depicting the historic images of the Aberdeen Harbour and its evolution over time. This serves as a visual narrative for the visitors to appreciate the transformation of the harbour over time and relate to its significance to Hong Kong. Distinct themed signage elements are also dotted along the promenade for the visitors to link the various destinations and landmark points on the map.
Enhancing the transformation of the promenade, various activities are conducted along the harbour edge to mark the identity of the Aberdeen Town. The Aberdeen area hosts one of the most important dragon boat races of the territory, attracting many visitors to the event. Interesting metal sculptures are strategically positioned along the promenade to depict the different fishing activities adding to the celebration of the cultural value of the place. The active involvement of residents to create the various activities and social corners adds to the relevance of the active social fabric in stitching the narrative together. The co-ordinated choice of materials, predominantly timber is visually and functionally pleasing and blends well into the village theme. Limited colours of white, black and brown ensure a visually comfortable palette and the vibrant activity and people add the wave of colours to bring the entire public space alive. Planting is kept simple and functional with large shaded trees along seating areas and colourful shrub planting along play areas to create consolidated garden like experience for the visitors.
Project name: Uplifting Works to Promenades of Aberdeen Harbour and Ap Lei Chau Main Street Area
Entrant office name: Atkins, member of SNC-Lavalin Group
Role of the entrant in the project: Landscape architectural services
Project location: Aberdeen, Hong Kong Island, Hong Kong
Client: Civil Engineering and Development Department
Scale: 5 ha
Design year: 2012-2014
Year Built: 2014