The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) has announced seven international teams competing to design a 14 hectare, landscaped public space for arts and culture on a waterfront property in Kowloon. After the project breaks ground in 2014, the phased development is expected to only take a year. It will feature a lush, sculpted terrain that will provide a new green open space in the heart of the city and a vibrant venue for music, dance, theatre, art exhibitions and other free outdoor cultural programs.
The seven shortlisted design teams are:
- Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau and VOGT Landscape
- Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man with Grimshaw, West 8 and ACLA
- Diller Scofidio + Renfro, with Olin and Urbanus
- Grant Associates / Wilkinson Eyre / WSP
- Gustafson Porter / Michel Desvigne Paysagiste / Foster + Partners
- Hargreaves Associates with Ennead Architects
- James Corner Field Operations
The teams will be challenged to integrate the following key elements into their proposals:
- A 7000 square meter “Freespace” that can accommodate performances of all scales and genres for contemporary music.
- “The Freespace Theater” capable of seating 450 to 900 people, complimented by an online “digital venue” for all forms of digital and new media art projects.
- A bar and cafe, dubbed “The Music Box”, that features local live music with an occupancy of 150 to 300 people.
- “The Outdoor Stage”, with seating for 200 integrated into the landscape for daily, free music events.
- A “leisure, grass-covered” lawn that serves as a flexible event space for 6,000 to 10,000 people.
- A 100 square meter “Art Pavilion” dedicated to small scale exhibition and event spaces.
- And, a permanent, large-scale contemporary art installation from a selected artist that will be integrated into the landscape.
Twenty-two teams from all over the world expressed interest in being considered for the project, following an open call for Expression of Interest launched in July 2012. The teams were shortlisted by the Development Committee on recommendation from a Working Group of Park Development, set up under WKCDA, to oversee the competition.
The seven shortlisted teams will be requested to submit a detailed proposal to WKCDA towards end of this year. Entries from the shortlisted design teams will be judged by an assessment panel of leaders in the relevant professional and arts and culture fields from Hong Kong and internationally. The chosen design team will be appointed by early 2013.