• The bronze lions being covered by crates

Site Formation

HSBC Main Building


Architectural showpiece presents a variety of challenges


A building as architecturally complex as the Sir Norman Foster-designed headquarters of the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank required a contractor with expertise and vision.


The project involved the creation of a massive basement, ancillary building works and the support works for the eight main masts, making up the iconic structure of the building.


Running from the foundations to the top of the building, these eight masts were secured by 32 massive caissons sunk 37 metres into the granite bedrock. A combination of machine and manual digging was needed to complete the heavy excavation work. In all, these substantial works were completed within a tight five-month schedule.


A further challenge came with the relocation of the famous bronze lion statues, two sculptures commissioned to mark the opening of the Bank’s original headquarters. In accordance with Fung Shui traditions, both lions had to be moved at the same time to avoid one taking precedence over the other, and neither could make eye contact, for fear that a fight would break out!

Client The Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation Limited
Project In charge of the foundation and substructure works of the basement and the ground level
Basement 19 m deep, 15,000 square metres
Year 1982 - 1985