As we reported earlier today, Bing Thom Architects and Ronald Lu & Partners are the winners of the competition to design the Xiqu Center, what will be the first of 17 core arts and cultural venues to be opened at the West Kowloon Cultural District.
The Hong-Kong born pair, who have significant experience designing Chinese cultural centers, won out the Master-planners of the District themselves, Foster + Partners, with a design that embraces traditional Chinese motifs. As the District's first landmark building, the Xiqu Center, scheduled for commissioning in 2016, will also be the “gateway of access” to the district.
Mrs Carrie Lam, Chairman of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) Board, noted that the Center's unique positioning ("Occupying a prime site of 13,800 square metres at the eastern edge of the District on the corner of Canton Road and Austin Road West") "will enable multi-disciplinary dialogue and interaction between Xiqu and other performing arts. By building this cultural hub, we are investing both in our future and our heritage, to celebrate Hong Kong's unique cultural identity."
Check out more info and images of the winning Xiqu Center design, after the break...
According to the WKCDA, the winning design was chosen unanimously for embodying the "essence of Xiqu" (Chinese Opera) through its four core design principles:
- The concept of gateway and pavilion is embodied in the siting of the building. All four corners of the site are open to welcome visitors to the centre.
- The concept of courtyard is embodied in the unique building massing. Below the 1,100 seat Main Theatre is a generous weather protected public space for the citizens of Hong Kong, an urban stage for informal events and celebrations.
- The concepts of nature and urban landscape are expressed in a three dimensional landscape treatment found throughout all levels of the complex.
- The concept of "flow" or "qi" is expressed with curvilinear planes and form. The exterior façade is curved with arched openings. Multi-level circulation paths capture the pedestrian flow from adjoining sites and the neighbourhoods
The WKCDA noted: "Early concept designs illustrate that the building will provide a striking entrance, a lantern for the District, employing the Moongate traditional Chinese motif and a dynamic treatment of the facade. Its flow or "qi" is expressed with curvilinear paths and forms.
The architecture incorporates a generous amount of public leisure space, in addition to 2,000 square metres of training and education facilities, two superbly designed auditoria for 1,100 and 400 seats (the latter to be developed in phase 2) respectively and a traditional Tea House for performances for audiences up to 280."
Moreover, The Xiqu Centre design was also praised for its sustainability and unique structural design (which allows the building to be constructed from the top and bottom at the same time, ensuring an efficient speed of construction).
Story via WKCDA