Architecture rarely transcends its bricks-and-mortar function to become art, but Frank Gehry’s OPUS HONG KONG does just that.



Architecture rarely transcends its bricks-and-mortar function to become art, but Frank Gehry’s inspiring and innovative apartment building in Hong Kong does just that.

Perched on The Peak, Opus Hong Kong is a series of spiralling façades that provide panoramic views of the sparkling city below. A building of such beauty enriches the human experience – but it also comes at a cost. Enter RLB’s experienced team, who established a budget which balanced Gehry’s artistic ambitions with owner Swire Properties’ commercial goals.

The result is arguably Hong Kong’s most beautiful and sought-after series of apartments in the sky. The 12 luxury apartments range in size from 4,819 to 5,444 sq ft (448 to 505 sqm). In 2012, one apartment set a new Hong Kong record when it was sold for HK$470 million (US$61 million) – confirming Swire Properties’ winning combination of innovative form, inspiring function and financial success.

At a glance

  • Client
    Swire Properties Limited
  • Services
    Cost Management & Quantity Surveying
  • sector
  • Location
    China, Hong Kong

A partnership that pays off

RLB has formed a deep and trusted relationship with Swire Properties over many years, after collaborating on prestigious retail projects like Cityplaza, Festival Walk and Pacific Place, the massive residential development at Taikoo Shing, and the business hub at Taikoo Place. Swire Properties extended that trust in RLB to engage our team in the delivery of OPUS HONG KONG, and RLB was determined to apply fresh perspectives and flawless execution to meet Swire Properties’ vision.

“An ambitious project like OPUS HONG KONG demands a team prepared to think creatively. RLB looked at the project from every angle to establish a realistic budget which met the architect’s ambitions and the client’s financial objectives.”
Ling Lam, Managing Director, RLB

RLB adopted a proactive and seamless approach to cost engineering and management, working with the project team to arrive at the smartest solutions for both capital and lifecycle costs.

Iconic and influential design

Pritzker-prize winning architect Frank Gehry has created some of the world’s most iconic and influential contemporary buildings. The Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao has been described as “the greatest building of our time” while Prague’s Dancing House is featured on the 2,000-koruna coin issued by the Czech National Bank.

OPUS HONG KONG was Gehry’s first residential building in Asia, and Gehry has said “you wouldn’t build this anywhere else”.

The tower’s sinuous silhouette is a striking counterpoint to the surrounding green landscape. The unique helical design reduces the need for load-bearing walls; as the open-plan apartments flow around the central core, the almost full-glass façade offer breathtaking views and abundant natural light.

  • 1
    residential project in Asia for Frank Gehry
  • 12
    apartments across 6,339 sqm of gross floor area
  • US
    apartment a record-breaking sale for Hong Kong

Using BIM to bring imagination to life

A parametric design model, constructed by engineers by building up a 3D geometry piece by piece, constructed every detail before even a brick was laid. This resolved many design challenges at the earliest stages, saving time and money while enhancing the project’s environmental sustainability. By using this model during the procurement process, RLB reduced cost uncertainty and secured the best specialists at the best price.

Delivering a design for generations

The slender steel columns, floor-to-ceiling curved glass walls, pre-cast sloping façades and glass cladding made for a challenging design brief. RLB worked with the project team to source cost-effective materials and secured specialist contractors to deliver on the design vision. Gehry has said he wanted to create something “incredibly beautiful that people will respect and love for generations”. Mission accomplished.