40 Years ago - Hong Kong MTR


Early days of the Hong Kong Metro (1970-79)

40 years ago in 1970 Design Research Unit commenced work on Hong Kong’s first mass transit railway system known as the ‘Modified Initial system’ (MIS).  Design Research Unit formed the architectural and station planning component of a UK engineering consortium, that included Freeman Fox.  A DRU Hong Kong office was established to service this, and the subsequent Kwun Tong Line project.

Today the Hong Kong Mass Transit System handles over 2.4 million passengers a day and is among the busiest urban rail systems in the world.

Further information
The Mass Transit System comes of age (1995-2003).

In 1995 DRU was shortlisted with Dennis Lau Ng Chun Man to provide architectural services on future extensions.  Maunsell subsequently led a group, that included DRU, that secured the Tseung Kwan O and Quarry Bay Extensions.

  • During this project DRU carried out several additional rail based projects including:
  • A study on the total refurbishment of all 38 stations of the operating railway.
  • The study of a new line utilising land available by the relocation of Kai Tak airport. (East Kowloon Line)
  • The planning and space standards of a new generation of typical stations. Architectural input
  • Ma On Shan Rail Line
  • Wanchai Station improvements
  • Kowloon Tong Station congestion relief
  • East Tsim Sha Tsui interface study
  • North Point Station Congestion Relief Works
  • Quarry Bay Station Congestion Relief Works

 The delivery of nine underground stations for Bangkok Underground’s initial system project was also led from this office.  The office also provided landscaping and urban design services enabling the portfolio of work to be expanded into non-rail areas both in Hong Kong and the wider region, including China.

The DRU Hong Kong office carried out a range of rail work from early concept and feasibility work through to detail design and works through to completion.  Some of the work was at a very strategic level advising the Mass Rail Transit Corporation on developing smaller more efficient station space.