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Tuesday 11 Jun 2013
MET Studio, together with joint partners Oval Partnership, has created a stunning new gallery and exhibition venue, which takes as its theme Hong Kong's planning and infrastructure, located within the existing Annex of City Hall. The Architectural Services Department, HKSAR Government, carried out all architectural works on the project, which saw the building renovated and adapted from office use to become a dedicated 3,200 sq m planning exhibition venue, with the 1,500 sq m gallery at its centre. As well as the permanent exhibition areas, the venue also now includes a major introductory audio visual show space, which will double as an events and seminar multi-purpose hall, with further new space for thematic exhibitions on the ground floor and an integrated resource centre on the fourth floor.
The limited footprint and restricted ceiling height of the existing building created a number of design challenges that were met with creative innovation. Vertical connections have been added in key locations joining floors, with slots and view paths and openings were added in unusual areas to create a dynamic and complex space for visitors to explore.
To bring this broad and challenging subject to life, the design team created three main focus elements, of which the first was to evoke the collective memory of Hong Kong residents, via uniquely Hong Kong features, including red market lighting, neon signage and old metal folding gates, so that the exhibition would resonate strongly with local people and create a sense of immediate ownership of the space. The second was to create spaces that were complex and challenging to encourage visitors to explore and to revisit the exhibit, whilst the third was to make the information flow two-way with feedback built into the exhibit design, reflecting the open and engaging nature of the planning process.