WKCDA Abandons West Kowloon Park Competition in Hong Kong

Courtesy of Foster + Partners

A major competition for a 40ha waterfront park in Hong Kong has been scrapped by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA). Thus, Foster + Partners’ competition-winning City Park will be abandoned, despite its potential to transform the Victoria Harbour’s reclaimed edge into an important Asian hub for artistic exchange.

Read on to find out why the WKCDA has called it quits.

According to a spokesperson at the WKCDA, the client has decided to seek interest in an “alternative approach” that would transform the fully landscaped park into “quality green open space with a cluster of modular arts and cultural facilities and ‘pop-up’ catering facilities, so that the Park could be delivered in much more compressed program.” These facilities would include a modular theater, a Black Box theater and an outdoor stage that would leave the Park more open.

The WKCDA has encouraged the original shortlisted designers to apply for their re-imagined scheme, but few seem enthused. One told BDonline that “they want a costed, full scheme for nothing – there’s no guarantee that they will even draw up a shortlist. It’s completely outrageous, we won’t be entering.”

Last year, Stephen Bradley at BDonline wrote a thought-provoking article arguing that Hong Kong’s visual arts culture had “not produced artists and institutions of the stature merited by ‘Asia’s World City’” and that it ”[could] and should have a much greater part to play in the development of greater than financial exchange and trade logistics.” He also added that the Foster + Partners’ masterplan would be a perfect opportunity for the West Kowloon Cultural District to bring real multi-dimensionality to Hong Kong.

On another note, it appears that at least one of the WKCD competition-winning proposals is still moving forward: Bing Thom Architects’ + Ronald Lu & Partners’ Xiqu Center is expected to break ground next month.

References: BDonline.co.uk (1, 2)

Cite: Porada, Barbara. "WKCDA Abandons West Kowloon Park Competition in Hong Kong" 13 Aug 2013. ArchDaily. Accessed 19 Apr 2014. <http://www.archdaily.com/?p=415215>

2 comments

  1. Thumb up Thumb down +2

    The author seems to be confusing everything.
    While the landscape competition (for about 20 hectares of green space) has been called off by the WKCD Authority, the masterplan (City Park) for the 17 cultural venues is still very much alive and went through planning earlier this year. H&dM recently won the architectural competition for the Museum (M+) adding to Bing Thom’s win (Xiqu Theatre). BD’s article makes it very clear that the ‘park competition (has been) scrapped’ …. not the whole masterplan!

    • Thumb up Thumb down 0

      JONJO… thank you for the clarification… this is a very important project that must be realized.

Share your thoughts