Last year, leading global auction houses Christie's and Phillips announced plans to relocate their headquarters in Hong Kong: the former will be moving to Central's new landmark The Henderson building in 2024; the latter to the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) Tower on the opposite side of Victoria Harbour in spring 2023.
Earlier today, another powerhouse in the industry, Sotheby's, has revealed its plan of relocation. Replacing its current gallery and office at Admiralty's One Pacific Place, an all-encompassing gallery space with a cafe concept will be opened at Landmark Chater in Central, and its Asia-Pacific headquarters will situate at Six Pacific Place in Admiralty. Both are due to open in 2024.
The new two-storey, 24,000-square-foot gallery space will be used not only for exhibitions but also live auctions, which means the house will no longer rent the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre for its spring and autumn auction series, giving it more flexibility in its year-round auction schedule.
Sotheby's new gallery space will replace fashion label Giorgio Armani's two-storey space in 2024
Sotheby's Hong Kong has held many exhibitions at its gallery at One Pacific Place
During the pandemic, the gallery space was also used for live auctions
Sotheby's Hong Kong Gallery is currently located on the 5th floor of One Pacific Place in Admiralty. In addition to exhibitions, the 15,000-square-feet space was also used for live auctions during the pandemic, taking the place of its usual auction venue at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.
With a vision for a widely-reachable destination that allows public access all-year round, Sotheby's new maison is strategically located at street level at Landmark Chater, the retail podium of Central’s Chater House. Right in the heart of Hong Kong's luxury district, it is adjacent to World-Wide House and Alexander House, and features multiple access points from street to footbridges.
Spanning over 24,000 square feet across two floors, the new multi-functional house will host auctions, private sales, international lectures, cultural events, exhibitions, as well as Buy Now – a recently introduced fixed-price platform for instant purchases of art and luxury collectibles. A Sotheby's cafe concept will also complement the integrated experience.
Six Pacific Place features 24 storeys and Sotheby's has pre-leased four (Concept photo)
As part of its growth strategy, Sotheby's will also relocate its headquarters to Six Pacific Place at 46-56 Queen’s Road East in Wan Chai. Developed by Swire Properties, it will feature 24 storeys of premium office space with a total area of around 218,000 square feet when it is completed in 2023.
The new office tower boasts an excellent access in and out of the district, primarily through the Admiralty super-interchange station. It will also be linked to Three Pacific Place, the Pacific Place Mall, and the Starstreet Precinct via a planned extension of the existing Three Pacific Place underground pedestrian link.
Sotheby's new headquarters is set to open in 2024, taking up 36,000 square feet of office space across four continous and interconnected floors. While Sotheby's did not disclose financial details, the monthly rent per square foot is reported to be around HK$60 (around US$7.7), meaning the house will be spending more than HK$2.2 million (around US$283,000) on rent each month.
Sotheby's new headquarters in Shanghai will be open next year (Concept photo)
In parallel with Sotheby's ongoing expansion across Asia, the international auction house will extend its footprints to Mainland China by opening a new headquarters in Shanghai on the bank of the Suzhou River next year. This past March, Christie's also staged a 20/21 Shanghai to London Sale series at its new office and gallery spaces at BUND ONE, No. 1 East Zhongshan Road, underscoring Shanghai's key position as the art and cultural hub in Mainland China.
Sotheby's Asia had a strong year in 2022, with auction sales of US$1.1 billion, matching the company's all-time-high record set in 2021. During this year, Sotheby's also opened a new office in Tokyo, staged its first auction in Singapore for 15 years and held the first major international exhibition in Vietnam.
As Sotheby's celebrate their 50 years in Asia next year, the house is planning on a year-long campaign that includes major travelling exhibitions across Hong Kong, Mainland China and Singapore, as well as multiple collaborations with some of Asia's celebrated tastemakers, such as Hiroshi Fujiwara, hailed the “Godfather of Streetwear”.