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URA has awarded the comprehensive design consultancy contract for the Central Oasis revitalisation project to AGC Design Limited. (from left to right) Quinn Law, Managing Director of the URA; Vincent Ng, Director of AGC Design Limited; Michael Ma, Director (Planning & Design) of the URA; and Iris Tam, Executive Director (Planning & Project Control) of the URA.

AGC Design Limited to design URA's Central Oasis revitalisation project

The Urban Renewal Authority (URA) today (Thursday) announced that AGC Design Limited (AGC) has been awarded the comprehensive design consultancy contract for its Central Oasis revitalisation project through a public tender exercise.

Announcing the tender result at a media briefing this afternoon, Managing Director of the URA, Mr Quinn Law, said AGC has obtained the highest score in an assessment conducted by a selection panel comprising URA Board members and independent professionals.

Consideration has been given to all tender submissions based on a set of technical assessment criteria which include ways to tally with the mainstream opinions and aspirations of the stakeholders, how to handle the structural and preservation issues, strategy for phased implementation, composition and experience of the design team and the resources that the consultant would put into the project.  The selection criteria can be found in the URA Website at http://www.centraloasis.org.hk/chi/cocac_meetings.aspx before the tender exercise.

While each of the participating bidders possesses its own individual merits, the panel has agreed that the submission by AGC is the best meeting the requirements for the project overall.  "In addition to undertaking to put in a great deal of its resources, AGC has presented a comprehensive composition mix of international team players that, the selection panel considered, will be able to deliver the final design of the project in line with the public aspirations," said Mr Law.

Mr Law recalled the series of public engagement consultations which the URA had carried out after having been given the task in the Chief Executive's Policy Address of 2009 to revitalise the ex-Central Market building. 

"Over the past two years, the URA has conducted a series of consultations and studies to understand the mainstream public opinions, with an aim that the future building will live up to public aspirations," said Mr Law.

These included a three-week e-Poll and street poll participated by some 6,000 people and visitors, public charettes, a comprehensive structural survey of the building and character defining elements studies.

"To encourage further public participation, the URA exhibited earlier this year four architectural firms' tangible three-dimensional conceptual designs that had taken into consideration the public aspirations as well as the preliminary structural and architectural studies," he said.

The one-month roving exhibition was held in April 2011 when 4,000 questionnaires were collected. Representatives of the four architectural firms also attended a forum to exchange views with the public face-to-face, Mr Law added.

The URA and the Central Oasis Community Advisory Committee (COCAC) also jointly organised an international forum inviting local and overseas experts to share their actual experiences on conservation and adaptive re-use of reinforced concrete buildings.

Based on the two rounds of public opinion surveys with over 10,000 questionnaires on mainstream views collected, the structural survey, the character defining elements studies and the advice of the COCAC, the URA came up in June 2011 with a design brief and invited the four participating architectural firms which have all along been engaged in the consultative process to tender for the comprehensive design consultancy contract of the project.

"Upon its appointment, AGC will start working on the proposal based on the design concept reflecting the aspirations of the community.  Our current schedule is to submit a planning application with the Town Planning Board for consideration next year.  We have planned to exhibit AGC's final design for public viewing in due course."

COCAC will soon start its advisory work for the third year. Mr Law thanked Professor David Lung, its chairman, and all its members for their support and advice and looked forward to their further participation in this meaningful revitalisation project.

ENDS