Kennedy Town Station
Hong Kong, China
Kennedy Town Station is the new western terminus of the MTR Island Line. Comprising two underground levels with entrance pavilions, a bus terminus, and playgrounds above, the station aims to sensitively blend into the existing urban fabric. Natural materials and colours pay respect to adjacent historic stone walls, colonised by 120-year-old banyan trees, which were carefully preserved.
The shallowness of the station provided an opportunity to introduce natural light into the concourse areas. During the day, sunlight pours into the transparent entrance buildings as well as the glazed lift shafts. Community art adorns the concourse and reflects the unique characteristics of Western District. To improve access to the station, knit communities together, and reduce reliance on polluting road-based transport, two new lifts were built to connect Rock Hill Street with the upper section of Sands Street. A new 30-metre long escalator traverses the steep slope at the top of the lifts.
The station was built on the site of the town’s old swimming pool, necessitating construction of a new Kennedy Town Swimming Pool, also designed by Farrells. Together, this multifaceted urban intervention revitalised the community through two very different approaches. The architecture of the new swimming pool is a bold civic statement that creates a new locus of activity on a hitherto blighted corner of the neighbourhood. Meanwhile, Kennedy Town Station enhances the community in a much more subtle way. Respectful of local heritage, the station forms a vibrant new neighbourhood centre without making a spectacle of itself. It recedes into the background as it if were always there – a natural fit.