Hong Kong-born architects to partner on first building in the West Kowloon Cultural District
West Kowloon Cultural District is soon to blossom into life with the announcement of two partnering architects who will collaborate to realise the first of 17 core arts and cultural venues at this exciting new development in Hong Kong. Vancouver-based Bing Thom Architects will work with Ronald Lu & Partners of Hong Kong on this significant scheme which will set the benchmark for the next 16 cultural buildings destined for the District.
Speaking on the announcement, Hong Kong-born Thom stated: “The commission for Hong Kong holds a special place in my heart, a true homecoming for me - my first building in my birthplace. It is an honour to return to design a home for this most authentic Chinese performing art, the first building for the West Kowloon Cultural District.”
The Xiqu Centre on the eastern edge of the District boundaries will be a base for this traditional form of Chinese opera, creating a new home from which these talented professionals can perform, educate, collaborate and attract new audiences. The volume will encompass 2,000 sq m of training and education facilities, two auditoria with 1,100 and 400 seats (the second to be completed in phase II) and a traditional Tea House with capacity for 280-strong audiences. All of this will be supported by ample public leisure space and framed by a flowing entranceway which drapes like the opening in stage curtains.
Thom continues: “The world is fast becoming a blend of Eastern and Western cultures and Hong Kong captures this magic by nurturing and celebrating Xiqu tradition. The Xiqu Centre design is a contemporary expression of a traditional Chinese opera building to show our wonderful art form to the world. The West Kowloon Cultural District gives Hong Kong talent its world stage!”
The design team was picked unanimously by a Jury Panel made up of prominent leaders in the relevant professional and cultural sectors in Hong Kong, China and internationally: Mr. Cui Kai, Architect, China; Prof. Odile Decq, Architect/ Urbanist, France; Mr. Jordi Farrando, Architect, Spain; Mr. Lee Shing See, WKCDA Development Committee member and Chairman of the Steering Committee and Engineer, Hong Kong, China; Mr. Mao Chun Fai, Fredric, Theatre Director, Hong Kong, China; Mr. Pau Shiu Hung, Architect, Hong Kong, China and; Mr. Yuen Siu Fai, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong.