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Architects shortlisted for West Kowloon Cultural District arts venue

Architects shortlisted for West Kowloon Cultural District arts venue
July 30, 2012

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) has announced a shortlist of five design teams that have been invited to submit proposals for the design of the Xiqu Centre, one of the first landmark buildings for the West Kowloon Cultural District, scheduled for completion at the end of 2015.

The five shortlisted teams are : BTA & RLP Company Limited; Foster + Partners with O Studio Architects; Mecanoo architecten/Leigh & Orange; Safdie Architects LLC and Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd. (in collaboration with Diamond and Schmitt).

Over 50 architectural teams from all over the world expressed interest in being considered for the project with the five shortlisted teams selected through a selection exercise conducted by the WKCDA management assisted by an Independent Professional Advisor, and with the participation of the Jury Panel. The outcome was supported by an independent Steering Committee, which was set up to oversee the design competition, and approved by WKCDA's Development Committee and the Board.

Announcing the selected teams, WKCDA Performing Arts Executive Director Louis Yu explained "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 shortlisted design teams will be invited to submit schematic designs of their concepts before 5th October, 2012.

The Panel, assisted by a Technical Committee, will examine the submissions, and conduct assessment through interviews, workshops, etc., to ascertain the individual team's ability. The teams will also be required to meet with relevant stakeholder and user groups before they set down to work on their designs.

The West Kowloon Cultural District is Hong Kong's largest ever cultural project.

It has a vision is to provide a vibrant cultural quarter for the city; 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.

The District will include 17 core arts and cultural venues and 30,000 metres2 of space for arts education. It will be a low-density development, providing ample open green space and embracing two kilometres of a vibrant harbour-front promenade, 23 hectares of open space and a green avenue, and closely connected with the neighbourhood.

The Xiqu Centre, scheduled for completion around the end of 2015, will be the first of the7 core arts and cultural venues to be opened within the District and one of 15 proposed performing arts venues. Occupying a prime site at the eastern edge of the District on the corner of Canton Road and Austin Road West, the Xiqu Centre will provide a gateway of access to the Cultural District. The competition covers the design of a 1,100-seat main theatre, a 400-seat small theatre, a Tea House for performances for audiences up to 280 and ancillary training and education facilities.

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