HarbourChill officially opens in Wan Chai (with photos)

     The Development Bureau (DEVB) has announced that the HarbourChill, a themed harbourfront space located next to the Pierside Precinct of Wan Chai Ferry Pier, opened today (May 28). The location is a harbourfront experiential space co-created by community professionals from all walks of life.

     A spokesperson for the DEVB said, "The site of about 1 800 square metres was previously a works area for a large-scale infrastructure project. In accordance with the incremental approach, the Civil Engineering and Development Department has unleashed the site in a timely manner, even when construction works are still taking place nearby. This has enabled us to open the site for public enjoyment after arranging some soft landscaping works and simple decoration."

     The theme of the HarbourChill is the city's backyard garden. As a pop-up initiative, shelters, chairs and swings with diverse designs and some pinkish elements have been installed, echoing the Pink Corridor in the vicinity to create a soft and cosy atmosphere. Specifically, the Hong Kong Arts Centre in collaboration with Napp Studio has also designed a series of small tables under the theme of "Zoo along the Waterfront". Designers have used wooden strips of various lengths to fabricate five sets of moveable animal furniture. These tables can be used for placing items like eating utensils or personal belongings, so that visitors can enjoy themselves at the site more freely.

     With a view to encouraging more stakeholders and arts groups to participate in harbourfront enhancement, the Harbour Office of the DEVB and the Harbourfront Commission held the Harbourfront Public Furniture Competition from July to September 2020. There are 20 winning entries and they are being gradually installed since early this year. These include (in no particular order) "The 60s view" designed by Loksun Lee and his team, "Anamorphosis" designed by Wai Tang and his team, "Endurance of Stricken Woods" designed by Charles Lai and his team and "Insignificance" designed by Ng Lok-sum and her team. These pieces of furniture also reflect remarkable elements of Wan Chai Ferry Pier and the old Wan Chai. 

     Furthermore, taking on board the idea of community development, the Harbour Office has collaborated with Social Ventures Hong Kong (SVhk) for the first time in arranging various diversified and innovative activities, as well as providing food and beverages, at the HarbourChill on a non-profit-making basis. There will be a special kiosk, WE+ Kiosk, on the lawn, selling feature snacks and beverages provided by social enterprise WE+. Goods featuring a Wan Chai theme have also been made available at the kiosk. In addition, SVhk is also collaborating with different social enterprises and community organisations in organising a range of activities, including the WE! Run@Harbour organised by RunOurCity this evening, which will allow participants to appreciate the harbourfront while taking part in the activity. As for this weekend, there will be an outdoor yoga experience and art jamming, which will allow visitors to relax themselves amid the busy city life and raise their overall well-being. This will also help to enhance community cohesion through utilising the harbourfront area.

     The HarbourChill is managed as a harbourfront shared space. Through a vision-driven approach, only minimal rules will be put in place, allowing visitors to harmoniously enjoy the harbourfront public space with mutual respect. The HarbourChill is open 24 hours a day and welcomes pets. 

     The spokesperson for the DEVB added, "The harbourfront shared space approach, implemented in the Belcher Bay Promenade in Sai Wan and the Water Sports and Recreational Precinct in Wan Chai since last year, has been widely acclaimed locally. Taking the Belcher Bay Promenade as an example, according to a survey conducted by Walk in Hong Kong earlier, about 90 per cent of some 600 interviewees agreed that the harbourfront area should impose fewer rules and over 80 per cent of the interviewees held the view that pop-up installations could enhance the site. We are experimenting with another style of implementing the concept of the harbourfront shared space at the HarbourChill and hope that this will complement the existing harbourfront promenades in the vicinity, thereby providing a more vibrant experience to visitors. Installations at the HarbourChill will remain on-site for at least six months, and will be subject to extension or adjustment having regard to utilisation conditions and user feedback.

     The HarbourChill is situated to the north of Hung Hing Road and east of the covered walkway of Wan Chai Ferry Pier. It is accessible from the ferry pier or Wan Chai Temporary Public Transport Interchange by walking about three minutes, or from MTR Wan Chai Station by walking about 15 minutes (see Annex).

Ends/Friday, May 28, 2021
Issued at HKT 10:00