ABSTRACT

The skyline of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China (SAR) is regarded as one of the most spectacular in the world. Landing at the now defunct Kai Tak Airport in the 1990s was to descend into a canyon of densely packed apartment and office blocks seemingly so close that passengers could touch them. Allegedly the inspiration for the futuristic setting of Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, the city continues to capture the imagination of photographers and filmmakers the world over. Most recently, in 2003, the city’s tallest building, the 88-floor behemoth Two International Finance Centre, featured in Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life as the launching pad for a dramatic jump into Victoria Harbour 415 metres below. On more prosaic grounds, the SAR’s skyline is listed as having the greatest number of buildings over 90 metres high, or 22 stories. Hong Kong has 3,329 of these buildings, four times the number of New York (at second place), and more than seven times that of Tokyo, which is ranked third (Gramsbergen and Kazmierczak 2003).