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Hong Kong Palace Museum Opening Soon
CSHK Striving for Perfection Illustrating Chinese Culture with New Technology


Located in the West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong Palace Museum, the city's latest cultural and artistic landmark, will officially open to the public on July 2. The Museum was constructed by China State Construction Engineering (Hong Kong) Limited ("CSHK", hereinafter referred to as the "Company") with a total construction area of 44,000 square metres, including nine exhibition halls. During the construction process, CSHK has made use of its advantages on the application of new ideas and technologies and has won multiple awards in the fields of design, safety and environmental protection.

As the first cooperation project of the Beijing Palace Museum outside the mainland, the Hong Kong Palace Museum shoulders the mission of protecting national treasures with architectural space. The Hong Kong Palace Museum mirrors the structure of a “Ding” (a bronze tripod vessel) in its design, adopting the traditional Chinese aesthetic architectural design of “a wide rim with a weighted base”. In order to achieve the desired effect and form a fair-faced concrete facade with a 1 in 3 slope, the project has adopted a four-layer cantilevered upside-down structure, with its maximum cantilever length reaching 14.6 metres, and structural steel component up to the thickness of 100mm, which could weigh 12 tons individually and require four groups of workers to continuously weld for 12 hours. This has made the Museum the first wide-dipping and large-area fair-faced concrete building in Hong Kong.

The location of the museum is surrounded by the sea on three sides, where winds prevail during typhoon seasons. Thus, climatic factors are considered in the museum’s structural design. Glass-fibre reinforced concrete (GRC) is used in both exterior and interior walls to improve its tensile and compressive strength, which are strong enough to withstand a typhoon of wind speed up to 273km per hour. For its interior design, the Museum has incorporated environmental features by using 3D aluminium panels of 50% light transmittance and designed the atrium ceiling in a flat and wavy shape, so as to maintain both aesthetic value and high level of natural lighting while reducing the use of electric lights.

In order to further improve construction efficiency, this project has adopted Building Information Modelling (BIM), which offers a 3D building simulation software that covers the aspects of building design, construction, operation and the entire life cycle, allowing the engineering team to perform communication, progress monitoring, and joint solutions on the same digital platform. For example, the exterior walls of the Museum consist of 4,022 veneer aluminium panels with different designs, where installation works are susceptible to errors; with the use of BIM, engineers can solve potential problems before production or installation, reduce steps involved in adjustments and corrections, and control the errors to be within 3mm, thereby improving the overall accuracy and efficiency of the work. The project has also adopted C-SMART, a self-developed smart construction site management platform. By incorporating IoT and AI, the engineering team is able to effectively perform progress, safety, quality and environmental management and accurate decision making. 

In addition, the Hong Kong Palace Museum demands extremely high requirements on mechanical and electrical building equipment, including the installation of systems to maintain comfortable temperature and humidity, resist wind and natural disasters, and ensure security of exhibitions. For example, three different fire-fighting systems (a pre-action fire sprinkler system, the Novec 1230 Fire Suppression System and a long-throw sprinkler system) have been prepared in place by the engineering team to fight the fire and ensure all facilities and cultural relics on the site are not damaged.