As Asia continues to provide the momentum in the fine art and luxury auction market, the global auction houses have found themselves constrained by limited capacity for in-person sales in Hong Kong. Now Christie’s has announced that it will relocate its Asian headquarters in 2024 to The Henderson, a new flagship building of The Henderson Land Group designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. The auction house will take a four-story, 50,000 square foot space within the tower.
Phillips, Sotheby’s and Christie’s typically hold their auctions at the same time in the global sales centers of New York and London. But in Hong Kong, Christie’s and Sotheby’s have had to jockey for space at the Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre for the past 30 years. Limited access to the convention center has hampered their ability to grow in recent years as the Asian market has expanded.
“The establishment of our first year-round saleroom and gallery space in Hong Kong provides us with the long-needed flexibility,” said Christie’s Asia head Francis Belin, “to transform our sales and events schedule from two main seasons a year, to year-round programming.” He added that the space is “designed to meet the unique business needs of an international auction house. Our new galleries at The Henderson are ideal for Christie’s presentation of large-scale artworks, live auctions, private sales, and educational programs.”
The announcement is significant because it comes three years before the project is set to open. Christie’s is the anchor tenant for The Henderson, signaling the firm’s commitment to doing business in Hong Kong amid continuing friction over the region’s governance. “This tenancy agreement has been concluded two years ahead of The Henderson’s completion,” said Martin Lee Ka-Shing, chairman of The Henderson Land Group, “and is a vote of confidence both in Henderson Land’s abilities as a world-class developer, and in Hong Kong as an international business hub with close financial integration with Mainland China.”
No new building, especially in Hong Kong, can be launched without addressing its impact on the environment. Christie’s has announced a global sustainability initiative with a commitment to achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030. The Henderson has received LEED Platinum and WELL Platinum pre-certification together with the highest 3-star rating of China’s Green Building Rating Program keeping it within that goal.