Three years after its closure for renovations, the Avenue of Stars has reopened with a refreshed look by the same designers of New York City’s High Line.
What was once a mere passageway along the Victoria Harbour is now a dedicated space for leisurely strolls and exquisite skyline viewing, thanks to an improved walkway, more seating options, and an enhanced display of statues and hand prints spotlighting the Hong Kong film industry.
It’s the collaborative result among some of the city’s luminary creatives and lauded international designers: James Corner, founding partner and CEO of James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), whose projects include the High Line as well as the Central Waterfront in Seattle, and the Battersea Roof Gardens in London; UK lighting architects Speirs & Major (S+M); homegrown architects LAAB; and New World Development’s Adrian Cheng, executive vice-chairman and general manager, who spearheaded the promenade’s refurbishment.
“The Avenue of Stars and the High Line are similar in that they are linear and try to re-interpret the age-old typology of the promenade, the strolling walkway and the enjoyment of being with other people in the context of the city, with great views, vistas and surroundings,” says James Corner. “But on the other hand, they are both so radically different because of their contexts.”
“The High Line is immersed in the fabric of New York – it has an intimacy, a texture, an intense episodic quality,” he says. “Our Tsim Sha Tsui project, both Salisbury Gardens and the Avenue of the Stars, are set within the massive scale of the Harbour and the city skyline; it is a vastly expansive and panoramic context. So this project is very unique and specific to Victoria Dockside and Hong Kong.”
With six years between conceptualisation and execution, including city agency reviews and citizen participation in between, the Avenue of Stars now enjoys second life as the city’s landmark – which pedestrians, locals and tourists alike, can also enjoy. While you’re there, here are the new features to look out for.
Wave-like railings and new hand print displays
Undulating like the neighbourly waves, the new railing design offers a softer edge to the waterfront. Also look out for the celebrity hand prints – including new sets featuring five additional celebrities – that were formerly situated in the ground. Scannable QR codes on the wooden plaque let pedestrians read the actor’s biography and watch clips of their films.
Kiosks of the future
Designed by LAAB, this robotics-operated kiosk is inspired by local dai pai dongs that open and close throughout the day.
Click to view the kiosk open
Click to view the kiosk closed
More mobile kiosks are stationed along the promenade as well, inviting local purveyors to offer their treats to passersby.
Funky shaded seating
Like mermaid tails jutting above water, the thoughtful (and interesting) design of the new trellises helps provide ample shade for pedestrians, hold growing flora and fauna that add more green to the promenade, and also form windbreaks during typhoons.
A (well) lit second view of the skyline
Lit from below, the Avenue of Stars itself becomes a unique view from across the water in Hong Kong Island.
LED lamp posts that do everything
Lining the promenade are multifunctional LED lamp posts designed by lighting architects Speirs & Major, that serve as lighting, provide WiFi and mobile signals, and have built-in security cameras, speakers and power supplies.
Images courtesy of New World Development. Featured image: Adrian Cheng, executive vice-chairman and general manager of New world Development