The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) announced today that it has awarded the contract for the construction works of the Art Park in the district to Sun Fook Kong Construction Limited (SFK) thus moving one step closer to the delivery of this new large-scale open space for outdoor art and cultural activities in the middle of Hong Kong.

The signing ceremony of the contract was officiated by the WKCDA’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Duncan Pescod, Chief Operating Officer Mr William Chan, Director of Project Control Mr Jeremy Stowe, SFK’s Managing Director Mr Patrick Lee Wai-shing, Directors of SFK Mr Chan Chor-tung and Mr Hilman Yung Kim-man, and witnessed by other guests, including Chairman and Managing Director of Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects & Engineers (Hong Kong) Ltd. Mr Dennis Lau Wing-kwong, Director of Arcadis Mr John Berry and Director of Rider Levett Bucknall Mr Patrick Chan Woon-keung.

“Situated in the heart of the city, the Art Park in WKCD will be an important public space in Hong Kong upon completion. Following closely on the passage in the Legislative Council of the new Park and open space bylaws, award of the contract for the Art Park is a major milestone. With a welcoming and accessible management approach, I am confident that all users will be able to find their own space to create and perform or just to relax and have fun. Pets will be welcome, as will cyclists, joggers and those that just want to experience the magnificent views from the waterfront promenades,” said Mr Pescod. “We have experimented with various forms of artistic programming and tested news ideas such as introducing pet-friendly measures for the management of our existing Nursery Park. The warm responses we have received indicates there is keen demand from the public to use the open space at WKCD for leisure activities, something which the Art Park is designed to cater for.”

To facilitate the construction of the Art Park, the waterfront promenade section which is located to the south of Nursery Park will be closed from today. During the construction, Nursery Park and the adjoining northern portion of the waterfront promenade will remain open. An extension to the existing pet zone will also be available soon. Members of the public are encouraged to enter Nursery Park through its western gate (where people can walk from MTR Kowloon Station and cross the footbridge over Western Harbour Tunnel). (For details please refer to http://www.westkowloon.hk/en/waterfrontpromenadenotice).

The Art Park is scheduled to open in stages from 2018. The design of the Art Park was conceived by a global team led by Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects & Engineers (Hong Kong) Ltd, with the international award-winning design consultant at West 8 (Netherlands) and ACLA (Hong Kong). The thoughtfully landscaped grounds will contain a rich variety of trees and plants – including native woodland species, some of which will display attractive colours in different seasons; waterfront species which are salt tolerant and can be commonly found in the waterfront or areas close to the water; urban forest species that are sun tolerant and can be planted to provide sufficient space for pedestrian circulation and other activities under the tree crown, as well as a number of lawns, which will be accessible throughout the year.

Alongside the green open space for public enjoyment, the Art Park integrate a wide range of arts and cultural facilities, including the M+ Pavilion and Freespace which will house a black box theatre and an outdoor stage, providing venues for open-air performances of music, dance, theatre, art exhibitions and other cultural events. M+ Pavilion, which is the primary site for small-scale exhibitions in the district, is due to open in end July 2016 with its first public exhibition taking place in September. Upon completion, the Art Park will also feature a lovely waterfront promenade where visitors have the space to enjoy the view of the Victoria Harbour with all sorts of arts and cultural events, coupled with retail and dining facilities.  

Staging mostly theatre performances, the black box theatre at Freespace offers a capacity of 450 audience seated to 900 standing with its flexible seating plans, while the outdoor stage is designed for large-scale events and festivals with a capacity up to 10,000 people. Freespace is scheduled to open in 2019.

Notes

The West Kowloon Cultural District

Located on Hong Kong’s Victoria Harbour, the West Kowloon Cultural District will be one of the largest cultural projects in the world. Its vision is to create a vibrant new cultural quarter for Hong Kong. With a complex of theatres, performing spaces and the M+ museum, the West Kowloon Cultural District will produce and host world-class exhibitions, performances and cultural events, as well as provide 23 hectares of public open space, including the future park and a two-kilometre waterfront promenade.