NL architects: hong kong boundaries crossing facilities
NL architects: hong kong boundaries crossing facilities NL architects: hong kong boundaries crossing facilities
jun 08, 2010

NL architects: hong kong boundaries crossing facilities

hong kong boundaries crossing facilities – ‘pearl river necklace’ by NL architects all images courtesy NL architects

dutch NL architects have sent in images of their ‘pearl river necklace’, a proposal for the hong kong boundary crossing facilities international ideas competition. the aim for entrants was to create a new landmark to reflect hong kong as a vibrant global and metropolitan city.

the bridge

there is an existing master plan, however NL architects proposed to make some adjustments to the configurations to improve the area.’pearl river necklace’ is an attempt to unite the knot. it is a breakdown of the complexities of the border crossing facilities into a necklace. the objective was to bring to the surface the beauty of the hong kong boundaries crossing facilities, at the same time reinforcing the attractiveness of the projected hong kong – zhuhai – macau bridge.

bisecting the bridge

bisecting the enormous complexity of the boundary crossing facility in its core elements – bus/coach passenger clearance and private car and cargo checkpoints, allows for a simpler organization.

in hong kong driving on the left

hong kong has traffic on the left where china has traffic on the right. in principle this has to be taken into consideration with the border crossing facilities. within the proposed master layout plan this leads to fairly unarticulated intersections. it solves the switch, but does not communicate it ‘explicitly’.

the ‘flipper’

the flipper is a device designed to ‘celebrate’ the traffic switch. it aims to redirect traffic in an efficient safe way.

in the hong kong section

entering hong kong

hong kong area

crossing over to china

driving on the right side

where the two sections meet

entering the border crossing road

the border crossing facilities from a distance

they propose an archipelago of artificial islands on the border of hong kong and china; a string of specifically formed islands that derive their from and beauty from their function.

the islands with parking facilities and bus depots

the islands with parking facilities and bus depots

the islands with parking facilities and bus depots

the islands with parking facilities and bus depots

the islands with parking facilities and bus depots

the airport

in the proposed master layout the border crossing facilities paradoxically, are not located on the border. NL architects suggest to move to an alternative location.

drawings of the island facilities

drawings of the island facilities

drawings of the island facilities

the site plan

the necklace/bracelet system – each incoporating sections of the road

with the exisiting plan at the time of crossing the road, it is not perpendicular to the road you travel on. if the border crossing facilities will be part of the ‘bracelet’ system, it can easily be rotated 90 degrees.

‘bracelet system’

pivate car kiosk arrangement

unfolding the private car kiosks into a monumental linear structure automatically transforms the shape of the island. a by pass for the bus and coach access is created through the middle.

structure of road

‘pearl river necklace’ proposes to elevate the section of hong kong zhuhai macau bridge right in front of the entrance to the tunnel. the additional heightened position will give the opportunity to overlook the destination.

elevation of the bridge

the passenger clearance building and its arteries have a good organization. by arranging the drop off bays on the first level passengers have to descend only. the walking distances are reduced and made more comfortable. a symmetrical typology is taken out of the system and an interlocking system emerges.

the passenger clearance building

the passenger clearance building – interior



  • no tide over there or what!?

    camila says:
  • lol to camila, this is true, first thing i noticed! place is gonna be flooooooooooooded given the rising water levels and the TIDE! lol

    m says:
  • it’d be spectacular during the typhoon warning.

    chris says:
  • Superb work! Constructive way to deal with the right/left driving situation. I do have a problem as others have, with the islands height over the water, given the likelihood of typhoons in the region. Beautiful presentation d;-)

    Jetwax says:
  • nice renderings, although i’m pretty sure lightpoles don’t tilt with the road -they would probably stay vertical.

    matthew says:
  • i think this is much better than those that have won…not going for the “look at me i’m parametric” award but actually attempting to improve the existing situation.

    Boombox says:
  • I am impressed to see this mad idea in a good website like this one. In my opinion this is bad design. The left-right solution is only a tiny fraction of the project, which misses to deliver a cost efective and sustainable design. These projects have to place in the present world of peak oil and finantial crises. This is a plan designed just for grandeur and plentiness of resources.

    Hibai says:
  • This 36km long bridge has already commenced preliminary construction as of December 2009. The proposal is for a single border control point for Macau/Hong Kong/China on an artificial island next to the Gongbei Customs point in Zhuhai. So in effect this design proposal is not vaild.

    It is being overseen by the Hong Kong Highway Authority, this it will feature HK style driving across the bridge, allowing smooth transtion with Macau who drive in the same manner. Any interchange will occur on the Zhuhai border crossing.

    Graeme says:
  • I modeled the bridge and posted a video with live traffic and water simulation on YouTube using PixelActive CityScape. Let me know what you think!




    Joseph Young says:
  • Sorry for my bad English, I live in Marseilles, France. The districts near the center of this city are disfigured by elevated highways witch are called slides. They pass on the roofs of houses, cut the residents from their neighborhood, design deserts. The access to the sea are impossible. They have been built at a time when it was a symbol of modernity. I thought that, since, the car had decided to be more discreet. When I look, for example, the flipper over such a wide, still I imagine the same parallel tracks, with its change of direction more discreet area. This project has a huge influence on the landscape dedicated to automobile transportation. We are in the 70s. Urban symbols can be interesting, imagine how this one will be lived in twenty years.

    Christian Coursaget says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

architecture news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
501,537 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample