City Park / Foster + Partners

© Foster + Partners by Methanoia

Continuing with our coverage of the West Kowloon Arts District, here’s Foster+Partners’ proposal entitled .  The proposal is based around a 23-hectare Great Park which will hold a sampling of cultural buildings of varying scales.  From the large Arena, Opera House and Exhibition Center to the smaller teahouses and small temples scattered throughout the landscape, the park will be a welcoming entity programmed to provide for the public.  Lord Foster, Founder and Chairman, said, “ is a great city and this project captures what is important about its DNA: the civic spaces, the squares, the parks, the greenery, the avenues and the small side streets. At ‘City Park’ we have created a world class setting for a new cultural city for everyone.”

More images and more about the master plan after the break.

© Foster + Partners

The proposal attempts to organize a “new cultural quarter with public spaces and buildings where public and private realms converge, social and physical boundaries are dissolved, and different groups can meet.”  Although the master plan will present new ideas on city organization, the familiar street pattern found in West Kowloon will extend into ‘City Park’ so that it becomes a natural extension of the local community.

© Foster + Partners by Methanoia

The park’s sculpted terrain will link cultural buildings by way of outdoor terraces and promenades.  The park will be lined with a green wall that contains hotels, restaurants, conference facilities and the showcase energy center that serves the whole site.  One of the largest buildings in the park is the combined Arena + Expo Center.  These two functions will be fused together into one compact form with a large-scale performance venue on the upper levels, and a below grade exhibition area.   By combining the two programs into one entity, the building  reduces the infrastructure required for access and services for each. While the Expo Center will be full of activity during the daytime, the Arena will host events at night, thus creating a lively 24-hour shopping and entertainment center.

A series of ‘green rooms’ step down from the cultural venues along the site edge, and extend towards Kowloon Park. Each room has a distinct identity, with the level change offering potential for terraced gardens, stepped plazas and integrated services and kiosks.

© Foster + Partners. Rendering produced by dbox

A main feature of the plan is The Avenue – a wide boulevard-like pedestrian street that runs east/west from the Great Opera House at the edge of the Great Park, to Black Box Tower and Canton Road Plaza Gateway. The Avenue unlocks the whole district, connecting all the different elements together, and is characterised by a dynamic mix of major cultural venues, along with shops, noodle bars, private galleries, artists’ studios, workshops and residential apartments.

© Foster + Partners. Rendering produced by dbox

Adjacent to the Great Opera House, a mixed-program development houses an art school on the upper levels, with a music academy on the lower levels and theater below grade.  For the main concert hall, a dramatic public terrace steps up from the waterfront providing great views of the Hong Kong skyline.

The plan is designed to allow City Park to achieve a carbon-neutral rating with a synergistic system of high-efficiency and low-consumption infrastructure. The low-energy design includes district cooling/heating, grey water recycling, energy recovery systems for sewage, recycling, a waste-to-energy scheme and the generation of local, low-carbon electricity. There is also provision for solar and wind energy generation.

© Foster + Partners. Rendering produced by dbox

Spencer de Grey, Head of Design, Foster + Partners explained, “City Park belongs to the people of Hong Kong. What we have done is taken our years of experience here, listened to what people need and created a setting for a new world class cultural district that expresses the hopes and aspirations of the city. It will be the most extraordinary international destination – a new landmark on the world’s cultural map.”

We’ll be sharing the third proposal by Rocco Design Architects Limited this week, and be sure to view OMA’s proposal that we featured earlier this week.

Images and information from the architects.  As noted, renderings produced by dbox and Methanoia.

Cite: Cilento, Karen. "City Park / Foster + Partners" 25 Aug 2010. ArchDaily. Accessed 26 May 2015. <>
  • alex

    Beautiful renderings. Nothing out of the ordinary, just quite pleasant spaces.

    • kc

      I think so too. And they’re sweetened up a bit too much with the greens and sun rays visible, yeah it makes a good impression but when you think about it, in reality once it is toned down it will be just like regular city view.

      Don’t see any design challenge here..

  • viniruski

    Sterile and prosaic. But will be very nice quiet place to retreat to after a long day of the HK hustle and bustle.

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  • d.teil

    Comparing the foster design with the oma design:

    1. foster’s one is much more romantic overall.
    2. oma has a much higher density and also it seems that the oma design has much more m2 in their design. is it?
    3. Why the oma renderings don’t not showing much more trees in their design as foster is doing? it looks more convenient with the trees . especially in HK where you have not much parks spaces and places at all.
    4. Foster has in their design a much better promenade along the harbour.
    5. Foster’s design has a better arrangement by the buildings comparing with the OMA design.
    6. Oma’s design looks like a “best of compilation” of their designs so far.
    7. Oma’s design looks more chaotic which Hk do not need at all.

    Means for me:

    Beside it looks much more dense by seeing the OMA design ( so who is right here by regarding the masses what the government of HK wish to have) i like more the FOSTER design, because it would be more comfortbable for the HK citizens.

    For all which were never in HK, you should know: there are millions of people everywhere, especially on the kowloon side , you rarely have spaces like a park with a lot of shady places.

    So as bigger you could have this kind of a park for everybody it would be nicer for the citizens of HK.

  • matthew bannister

    Good job guys.

    I know green-and-all is the style of the day, but last I remember, even the most remote place in Hong Kong is packed with people, having free lawn like that will be destroyed within the day making it instantly non-sustainable.

    The rendering probably need a bit less gloss, need to lose the softlight at some point.

  • t

    The renderings are insane!!! The proposal is the better one of the group, but the best….?

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  • Eve

    Why does the project give me a sense of ordinary? It’s not that creative to some extent in my opinion. Seems like it simply consists of iconic building + green space. Maybe the masterplan hasn’t revealed it’s charm. Looking forward to some more detailed report. Cheers.

  • yuan yuchen

    I think that an area like this which dosen’t need a creativity but a comfortbal place for life.OMA’s job is too futurism to agree with this country.Foster’s job offer an arena which can answer it although it is regular.

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