Foster and Partners has been named as the winner of an international competition to develop a masterplan for an arts, cultural and entertainment district on the reclaimed West Kowloon waterfront. The competition was launched in 1999 and attracted 161 entries.
The aims of the masterplan are to provide Hong Kong with an unmistakable architectural symbol and a world-class cultural quarter that will enhance Hong Kong's position as Asias events capital. It includes a major performance venue, a variety of theatres and concert halls, a modern art museum and cinemas supported by leisure facilities, shops and restaurants. Seventy per cent of the site is given over to parkland and public spaces. All these facilities will be sheltered and unified under a sinuous flowing canopy, which will create a benign microclimate. The form of the canopy is inspired by the local landscape and traditional Chinese art forms and calligraphy.
Foster and Partners will work with the Hong Kong government for the next year to finalise the masterplan design. The first of the new facilities is expected to be completed in 2008.
Lord Rothschild, chairman of the 10-member Jury said: "The signature feature of the design a great canopy flows over the various spaces contained within the development to create a unique landmark. The sinuously flowing form of the site contours and the canopy produce a memorable effect. The master layout plan, even at this conceptual level organises the site to take full advantage of its prime waterfront location and its proximity to Kowloon Park and the Canton Road retail district."
Lord Foster said, We are absolutely delighted that we have been chosen to masterplan the West Kowloon Reclamation area as the new cultural and arts quarter for Hong Kong. This remarkable city has played an important part in the life of the practice and has given us some of our greatest design opportunities such as the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank and Chek Lap Kok airport. We look forward to being back in Hong Kong, to being part of that vibrant community and to this new challenge to contribute to the future of one of the world's most exciting cities.
Foster and Partners, London
Richard L K Yu, Hong Kong
Bartlett School of Planning, University College London
Mott Connell Ltd, Hong Kong
Economic Management Consultant
Dr Jonathan Beard, Hong Kong
David Yeung, Hong Kong
Financial Model Advisor
KPMG Corporate Finance, Hong Kong