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Hong Kong’s new Xiqu Centre the world’s first performance venue specifically designed for classical Chinese opera

Hong Kong’s new Xiqu Centre the world’s first performance venue specifically designed for classical Chinese opera
June 24, 2019

The development of Hong Kong's West Kowloon Cultural District is moving forward with the recent completion of centrepiece venue the Xiqu Centre and the appointment of a new Director for the Hong Kong Palace Museum, which is due to open in 2022.

Located at the gateway to the new cultural district, the new Xiqu Centre is a seven-storey, 30,000 metre² performance hall that is the world’s first performance venue specifically designed for classical Chinese opera.

Standing at the entrance to the West Kowloon Cultural District and adjacent to a new public plaza, the Xiqu Centre is designed to resemble a set of opening stage curtains.

Designed by Revery Architecture (formerly Bing Thom Architects) in collaboration with local architect Ronald Lu & Partner, the HK$347 million (US$44 million) venue features a 20-metre-high main entrance and atrium - which is accessible to the public 24/7, and which will occasionally stage free events - which acts as a threshold to the entire cultural district.

With the main Grand Theatre elevated 27 metres (four storeys) above the plaza, a series of lobbies rise up from the atrium, giving access to the 1,073-seat Grand Theatre and a 200-seat Tea House Theatre, as well as exhibition areas, restaurants, studios, and a seminar hall.

The 40-hectare precinct, masterplanned by Foster+Partners, is intended to become Hong Kong’s primary arts precinct, with 17 cultural venues and a central park.

Among its other venues, the new Hong Kong Palace Museum will see Louis Ng Chi-wa, currently Deputy Director of Hong Kong's Leisure and Cultural Services Department, become Museum Director as of 5th August.

The new museum, situated on the West Kowloon harbourfront, is a collaboration between the authority and the Palace Museum in Beijing. The Jockey Club donated HK$3.5 billion (US$449 million) for the project, which under construction now and expected to open in 2022.

Images: The Xiqu Centre's exterior (top, courtesy of Ema Peter for Revery Architecture/Ronald Lu & Partners), the Xiqu Centre's Grand Theatre (middle, (top, courtesy of Ema Peter for Revery Architecture/Ronald Lu & Partners), and how the Palace Museum will look when it opens in 2022 (below).

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9th March 2018 - Free entry initiative sees record attendance at Hong Kong museums

17th October 2016 - M+ Pavilion opening marks the first permanent art venue in the West Kowloon Cultural District

29th December 2015 - New National Palace Museum branch opens in Taiwan

26th November 2014 - Construction advances on West Kowloon Cultural District venues

12th November 2014 - Hong Kong Stadium playing surface to be rebuilt next year

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