Lifestyle

Coast to Coast

Coast to CoastSun Hung Kai's Avignon aims to set the bar for luxury and tranquillity in a fresh corner of Hong Kong

So you wake up to bright sun streaming through the windows and perhaps, if you're lucky, the distant sound of water lapping against the shore. Or maybe you feel a gentle breeze coming off the surrounding mountains. Either way, you have your breakfast, read the paper and stroll downstairs to head to work. It will take you about 20 minutes to get to ICC and maybe you have a partner that's on their way out of town; it will take them about 20 minutes to get to the airport. Both of you head towards the easily accessible transit choices that lay beyond the lavish and lush garden you must pass through to reach. It's quiet, peaceful, and doesn't feel like one of the most densely populated cities in the world.

The assumption might be that you're living in Repulse Bay or Clear Water Bay until you back up to the idea that the airport is 20 minutes away. The aforementioned area is Tuen Mun's So Kwun Wat district, the evolution of green luxury in Hong Kong.

A government study completed in 2010 concluded that So Kwun Wat would be an ideal location for low-density (nothing above ten storeys) coastal development, part of which could include luxury residences. Infrastructure work has begun to complement what already exists, and in future Castle Peak and Tuen Mun roads will be joined by the Hong Kong-Macau-Zhuhai bridge, a direct Tuen Mun-Chek Lap Kok link, a western bypass and a costal rail line has been proposed. Great things are expected of the area, which boasts a booming affluent population, a yacht and country club is within striking distance of Castle Peak Bay and Tai Lam Country Park.

The existing and proposed transport, education and retail infrastructure in one of the city's most scenic areas has given Sun Hung Kai Properties the confidence to wade into So Kwun Wat with its newest project, Avignon, a development that is shaping up to be a property of great value as well as the premier luxury coastal residence of the future.

The area's potential will also be stately endorsed because the UK's elite Harrow School - alma mater of no less than seven British prime ministers - will be opening a branch at Perowne in 2012. The Harrow School is a familiar name in Beijing, where a kindergarten and primary school operates, and so it is helping Avignon's early reputation, appealing as it does to local and expatriate residents in addition to Mainland families who rank education facilities high among criteria for nearby amenities. Harrow is sure to be a major factor in stimulating the market in the immediate area too. One of the earliest potential sub-markets is Harrow's faculty, prime candidates to lease units at Avignon and the basis of strong rental returns for investors. It expects the area to be the next coastal luxurious residential area and without doubt, Avignon will be the landmark development within.

Located at 1 Kwun Chui Road and scheduled for completion late this year, Avignon will be 459 units spread out over a massage plot of land. There is a total of 30 houses with private pools, 27 penthouse units, 53 duplex houses, with standard apartments comprising the remainder of the properties. The flats are broken down into one- to four-bedroom units ranging up to~3,500 square feet, with additional duplexes, penthouses and houses in the project. It takes its name from the southern French city in Provence, renowned for its natural beauty, verdant surroundings and as the inspiration for impressionist master Claude Monet. The amount of green space allotted to the development is almost unheard of in Hong Kong: approximately 80 percent of the property's total acreage is dedicated to nature.

The $200 million, 380,000 square foot Monet Garden is the property's defining highlight. The private garden adheres to the style of the Giverny estate where Monet painted some of his best-known canvasses and will be the focal point of the entire property. Similar to its inspiration, Avignon's garden will feature scores of flowers and plants and a Japanese-style bridge. The idea is to give residents the feeling that they're standing inside a Monet painting. This in addition to the seascapes and mountain views that surround the address. With new building restrictions in effect in the SAR, a private green space the size of the Monet Garden is a rarity not likely to be seen again. The completed property, complemented by its garden and close proximity to Castle Peak Bay, to be comparable - if not superior - to coastal luxury residential districts like Repulse Bay and Clear Water Bay.