The Agriculture, Fisheries & Conservation Department (AFCD) of the Hong Kong SAR Government worked with MET to create a wetland park in the Northwest New Territories of Hong Kong. The park was to be a buffer zone between the sensitive wetlands of Mai Po and the new town of Tin Shui Wai, a major tourist attraction and a local educational resource, aiming to raise awareness of, and helping to preserve one of the most important and threatened habitats on earth. The challenge was to create an experience that would attract visitors to an area that, for many in the Territory, seemed far from the city centre.
Following on from the earlier interpretative masterplan, also developed by MET in 2006, they created a stunning new visitor centre, set beneath a grass landscape, as part of a 145 acre attraction. The park was designed to inspire and challenge visitors to appreciate the many benefits of wetlands, whilst also offering a great day out. The pacing of the visitor journey was carefully choreographed to offer a variety of experiences, both indoor and outdoor, each telling unique stories including; bird migration, Hong Kong species, human reliance and the human impact on wetlands. One of the many highlights was the peat swamp aquarium containing mixed natural and artificial landscaping, models, hundreds of different fish, live snakes and insects, and four False Gharial crocodilians. As with all of MET’s major projects, the work was completed in collaboration with a large team including the client team, the Architectural Services Department (ArchSD), Urbis landscape Architects, WWT Consulting, Thomas Mathews, DHA lighting and a host of other technical consultants. The works were expertly brought to life by specialist contractors Beck.