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.
West Kowloon Cultural District Authority has appointed Herzog & de Meuron and TFP Farrells to design a new museum for visual culture on the edge of a reclaimed, 14-hectare park in Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour. Focusing on 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture and moving image, M+ will be one of the first projects to be completed in the West Kowloon Cultural District, and a key venue in creating interdisciplinary exchange between the visual arts and the performing arts in Asia.
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…
The WKCDA (West Kowloon Cultural District Authority) has made two big announcements today: (1) the winners of the competition to design the Xiqu Center, what will be the District’s first landmark building; and (2) the shortlist of six architects who will compete to design the M+ Museum for Visual Culture. The Museum and Center are part of a Masterplan, designed by Foster + Partners, to transform Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District into a world-class destination for arts and culture.
Hong-Kong born architects Bing Thom and Ronald Lu (of Bing Thom Architects and Ronald Lu & Partners) beat out the Master-planners themselves, Foster + Partners, to design the Xiqu Center, the “gateway of access” to the district, scheduled for commissioning in 2016.
The designer for the M+ Museum has yet to be determined, however, and, judging by the 6 world-famous architectural firms shortlisted, the competition is sure to be fierce.
The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) has announced five design teams invited to submit proposals for the Xiqu Center, which will be the first landmark building within Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District. Serving as the main theatre and Team House, the Xiqu Center will form the gateway into the £1.7bn, Foster-designed masterplan once it is complete towards the end of 2015.
Mr. Louis Yu, Executive Director, Performing Arts stated, “There has been a fantastic response to our plans for the Xiqu Centre from design teams from across the world. We are working hard to find the right team to work with to fulfill our ambitions. The shortlisted teams will meet with representatives of the Chinese opera artform, engaging with stakeholders so we can conceive together a world-class building for Hong Kong and for the development and promotion of this important form of Chinese cultural heritage.”
The five shortlisted teams are:
Foster + Partners’ City Park proposal has recently been selected for the 40-hectare masterplan for West Kowloon Cultural District. Since this past August, we have been sharing the three competing shortlisted projects – OMA’s Three Villages, Rocco Design Architects’ Cultural Connect, and Foster’s City Park – and your comments have sparked great discussion concerning the advantages and disadvantages of each. The selection process for the cultural district was quite unique as the three projects, that were selected from 12 proposals, then entered a public consultation exercise. For three months, the people of the West Kowloon district had the opportunity to review and comment on the projects, which then had a strong impact on the panel’s final decision.
Foster’s proposal is organized around a 23 hectare public par, with cultural buildings scattered along the edges to become a natural extension of the local community. Foster commented, “This is fantastic news. I have been travelling to Hong Kong for more than 32 years, since the Hongkong Bank first brought us here. This project offers an extraordinary opportunity – it is unprecedented in its scale, scope and vision. City Park will be the catalyst to transform the city locally and regionally, as well as on the world stage. Our design is rooted in Hong Kong’s urban DNA, the distinctive character that makes it such a dynamic city. There really is no other project like it!”
Be sure to read more about Foster’s proposal on AD here.
Here’s the third proposal by Rocco Design Architects Limited for the West Kowloon Cultural District (be sure to view OMA’s proposal and Foster + Partners’ proposal previously featured on AD). Rocco’s concept, entitled ”Cultural Connect: Key to Sustained Vitality,” started with two basic questions - Have we ever wondered why we are fascinated by Qing Ming Riverside? And, why exactly do we want a West Kowloon Cultural Dsitrict. Using these questions are a starting point, the proposal seeks to design a place where different groups of people can enjoy different activities “in the same space and at the same time.”
More about the proposal including images after the break.
Continuing with our coverage of the West Kowloon Arts District, here’s Foster+Partners’ proposal entitled City Park. 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, “Hong Kong 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.
On Monday, we shared OMA’s master plan proposal (a series of 3 villages that re-think traditional arts components) for the West Kowloon new arts district. As we mentioned, OMA’s plan is competing with two other master plans – Foster + Partners and Rocco Design Architects Limited. We’re excited to share these two master plans with you this week and get your feedback for the plan that you feel is most successful.
The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority is beginning the Stage 2 Public Engagement exercise which will last for three months in order to provide the public with the opportunity to review all three plans. The plans will be judged upon their creativity, accessibility, connectivity, integration, vibrancy, uniqueness and sustainability.
A questionnaire will be distributed to each person viewing the plans asking for his/her opinion. The Panel is very interested to hear the public’s opinion and the views from the exercise will have significant bearings on the Conceptual Plan Option eventually selected by the Authority. It makes perfect sense for the public to have a strong voice in this new arts district, and we’re looking forward to hearing yours as we share the plans with you.
This past week, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority of Hong Kong unveiled OMA’s conceptual master plan for a new arts district (Koolhaas’ plan is one of three competing proposals). Divided into three villages, the 40 hectacre waterfront site places strong emphasis on the quality of the street life and the “cultural production where all aspects of the creative process are nurtured and made visible.” The master plan has been years in the making, as Koolhaas established an office in Hong Kong to better understand the culture and context, as well as collaborate with financial and culture experts to design a feasible plan to positively affect the communities involved. Rem Koolhaas commented, “Using the village – a typology every citizen of Hong Kong is familiar with – as the model for our plan allows us to absorb the massive scale of WKCD’s ambition into manageable portions and forge deep connections with Kowloon, whose vital urban energy will be the lifeblood of WKCD.”
Images and more information about the master plan after the break.