The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) unveiled a concept plan for the future park in the West Kowloon Cultural District today, conceived by a global team led by Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects & Engineers (Hong Kong) Ltd, with the international award-winning design consultant West 8 (Netherlands) and ACLA (Hong Kong). The design team has been working closely with WKCDA since their appointment in February 2014.
The vision for the Park is to create a quality green open space that would make Hong Kong proud, and to become a waterfront park to inspire, promote and encourage cultural pursuits for all. The landscaped park will provide a vibrant venue for open-air performances of music, dance and theatre, as well as art exhibitions and other cultural programmes. Attention has been paid to shaded areas and topographic variation in designing the Park, providing pleasant environments and spacious lawns for leisure and relaxation. Areas for large-scale outdoor sculpture and installations curated by M+ will be integrated into the design.
The concept design confirms the locations of the arts and cultural venues within the Park, which will provide space for creative programming across all genres. The venues will be linked by a cultural boulevard, an extension of the Avenue that runs through the heart of the District. The venues/ facilities include:
- The Arts Pavilion: Designed by VPANG architects ltd + JET Architecture Inc + Lisa Cheung, which will be situated on an elevated mound in the north-east segment of the Park, close to M+ and Artist Square, with views out to the Victoria Harbour.
- Freespace: A Black Box and an Outdoor Stage. The Black Box will be a flexible space located in the centre of the Park for standing and seated events across all genres, and will accommodate up to 900 people.
- The Lawn: A flexible space in the western area of the Park, capable of accommodating over 10,000 standing visitors for outdoor festivals, classical or pop music concerts, and other performances. A further flexible event space is planned for the southern segment of the Park near the waterfront, capable of hosting up to 5,000 people standing.
Unveiling the concept design, the design team said, “Working alongside WKCDA we hope to create a new kind of public space for Hong Kong – one devoted to the promotion and enjoyment of arts and culture, where daily life seamlessly integrates with cultural activity. The Park will be a tranquil counterpoint to the intensity of urban Hong Kong, contributing an important new greening project to the heart of the city that will offer something for everyone to enjoy.”
Michael Lynch, CEO, WKCDA said, “In a short time working hand in hand with the design team enormous progress has been made, capitalising on their collective experience working on major greening projects and cultural builds in Hong Kong and worldwide. Together we are focused on delivering a dynamic and inspiring public space for Hong Kong with arts and culture at its core.”
In the past two years the Park site has been used as a stage for large-scale public events and festivals. So far the site has welcomed more than 660,000 visitors to events such as the West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre, Mobile M+: INFLATION!, Clockenflap, BloHK Party and Freespace Fest, one of Hong Kong’s biggest outdoor festivals. These events are an important marker of growing audiences and successful programming, building anticipation for the opening of the major venues in the District and encouraging greater engagement with the arts. Earlier this year the first automated bicycle rental system in Hong Kong was also installed on the site.
West Kowloon Cultural District
The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the largest cultural developments worldwide. Its vision is to create a vibrant cultural quarter for Hong Kong, a vital platform for the local arts scene to interact, develop and collaborate, and major facilities to host and produce world-class exhibitions, performances and arts and cultural events. It will provide 23 hectares of public open space including a park, a green avenue and a waterfront promenade, and will be well connected with the neighbourhood.
Profile of the Design Team
Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects and Engineers (HK) Ltd (DLN) (Hong Kong)
Lead consultant Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects and Engineers (HK) Ltd (DLN) was founded in Hong Kong in 1972 and has grown in step with the city since that time to become one of the most versatile and best known architectural design practices in the region. DLN’s work is emblematic of contemporary Hong Kong’s vitality and culture and includes some of the best known landmarks in the city.
West 8 (Netherlands)
West 8 is an award-winning practice responsible for design of urban landscape interventions, waterfront projects, parks, squares and gardens enjoyed by people all over the world. Celebrated West 8 projects include the Schouwburgplein in Rotterdam (NL), Borneo Sporenburg in Amsterdam (NL), and Expo '02 in Yverdon-les-Bains in Switzerland. Recently won competitions include Governors Island Park - a 172-acre island in the New York Harbor (USA), Playa de Palma in Mallorca (Spain), Miami Lincoln Park New York (USA) and Yongsan Park in Seoul. Awards received by West 8 are the Honor Award of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the International Urban Landscape Gold Award (IULA), the Prix de Rome, the Dutch Maaskant Award, the Bijhouwer Award, the Rosa Barba First European Landscape Prize, the Green Pin, the Veronica Rudge Green Prize for Urban Design and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Architecture of The Dutch Mondriaan Fund.
ACLA (Hong Kong)
Project landscape architect ACLA’s in-depth knowledge of local flora and landscape practice will complement West 8’s design. ACLA was established in Hong Kong in 1978 and has been responsible for design of many of the landscape environments in the city. Besides parks, ACLA is currently working with the Government as the landscape consultant behind greening masterplans covering the whole of the territory of Hong Kong.