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.
Koolhaas’ team has created a new kind of museum, entitled M+. This barcode building will feature overlapping bands that vary cultural and arts programs, such as visual art, film, design and popular culture. With an Art Factory intersecting the museum, and an Exhibition Center beneath it, the M+ will be a major connector in the plan, linking to Kowloon Park and to the surrounding neighborhood with pedestrian bridges.
The traditional Kowloon street market life will continue through the Middle Village with small-scale entertainment, local shops, restaurants, street markets, artist studios, production spaces, and galleries.
For the Theater Village, four performance spaces – the chamber music theater, street theater, grand theater and a concert hall – are interconnected via a continuous outdoor lobby that stretches the length of the village.
The Mega Performance Venue, an open-air amphitheater, sits 15,000 people for large scale entertainment ranging from pop concerts to New Year’s celebrations with views over Hong Kong Island as its natural backdrop.
The villages are embedded in a single park that will be designed with forest gardens, orchards, ponds, meadows, and even a communal urban farm.
OMA’s conceptual plan will be discussed in a series of public forums in the coming three months, in which OMA is represented by Rem Koolhaas, David Gianotten and Betty Ng. The project is also on display in across Hong Kong from until November 20, and at the International Architecture Exhibition in Venice until November 21.
Video via Vimeo uploader OMA.