Excitement about new building projects in Hong Kong appears to be at an all-time peak.
In January, after a three-year redevelopment programme, we welcomed the reopening of the Avenue of Stars, a cultural landmark and promenade along the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront. Conceived by James Corner Field Operations, which made Manhattan's High Line the talk of the design world, the refreshed and updated walkway has an aesthetic vision of which Hong Kong is surely in need.
On the hospitality front, our city has had no new world-class luxury hotels for some time, so to get two in a row has been particularly exhilarating. Opening last month to much fanfare, Rosewood Hong Kong is housed in the 65-storey Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates-designed Victoria Dockside building, adjacent to the Avenue of Stars. It features interior designs by New York-based Tony Chi that speaks to understated luxury and includes works of art by the likes of Henry Moore and Damien Hirst. And across the water in Wan Chai, the St. Regis Hong Kong opens this month, introducing André Fu's signature restrained elegance while paying homage to Hong Kong's rich heritage. These two landmarks have undoubtedly made an impact upon Hong Kong's contemporary design portfolio.
But it's not all about new builds. Sustainability is, and must continue to be, a keyword in the modern construction industry. This month, with our 'unofficial' focus on Singapore, we take a close look at the Garden City's ambitious efforts to push sustainable design to the fore. The results are as delightful as they are surprising.
The Pritzker Prize, the world of architecture's highest honour, continues to keep everyone guessing: the question of who will win – and why – is always a topic of lively debate. Veteran Japanese architect Arata Isozaki has just been named as this year's laureate – a surprising but deserving win. The 87-year-old has been applauded as a visionary for his profound knowledge of architectural history and theory, embracing the avant-garde and skilfully fusing
Eastern and Western methods and sensibilities. His mastery of his chosen discipline is a lesson to us all – and, we hope – an inspiration to those who will follow in his footsteps.