The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) announced today a shortlist of seven design teams that have been invited to submit technical proposals for the development of Hong Kong's first art-themed park, 14 hectares of landscaped public space for arts and culture at the West Kowloon Cultural District, by the waterfront in Kowloon.
The seven shortlisted design teams (in alphabetical order) are:
From West Kowloon Cultural District Authority's official press statement:
The park, targeting to open by phases from 2014/2015, will be the first to be conceived as a cultural destination. The sculpted terrain, with abundant planting, will provide a new green open space in the heart of the city and a vibrant venue for music, dance, theatre, art exhibitions and other free outdoor cultural programmes. The designers will be challenged to maximise the greening opportunities involved and integrate innovative green ideas in their park design.
Arts and culture elements for the park include:
Freespace: A prime venue for contemporary music of all scales and genres that is integrated into the landscaping of the park. Spanning 7000m², Freespace will include:
The Freespace Theatre, a flexible space that is intended for the presentation of music, interdisciplinary performances and multimedia presentations closely related to music for audiences from 450 to 900 people, with an online 'digital venue' that will complement the physical venue as an independent platform for all forms of digital and new media art projects.
The Music Box, integrated with a bar and a café and intended for the presentation of mainly local live music to an audience of 150 to 300.
The Outdoor Stage, designed for daily and free music events for 200. The seating of the Outdoor Stage will be integrated into landscaped slopes of the park.
The Lawn: Leisure grass-covered area capable of accommodating 6,000 to 10,000 people during events.
Arts Pavilions: These spaces will function as small scale exhibition and event spaces for the visual arts with a combined area of 100m2.
Sculptures and Installations:
Space will be specifically designed throughout the park for art installations and sculptures. The chosen design team will collaborate with artists from the early stages of the design in order to fully integrate permanent large-scale contemporary art into the design of the park. There will also be temporary exhibitions. The selection of artists will be made by M+, Hong Kong's future museum for visual culture in West Kowloon Cultural District, who will be responsible for the curatorial oversight of all visual art in the park.
These facilities will be set within a landscaped setting with site specific features along the waterfront and all ancillary buildings and amenities required for an urban park setting.
Mr Michael Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of WKCDA, said, "The park in the West Kowloon Cultural District will be an arts destination in its own right providing a vital flexible open space for the visual and performing arts. Opening in phases beginning from 2014/15, the park aspires to be the most dynamic and inspiring public space in Hong Kong with arts and culture at its core."
Twenty-two teams from all over the world expressed interest in being considered for the project, following an open call for Expression of Interest launched in July 2012. The teams were shortlisted by the Development Committee on recommendation from a Working Group of Park Development set up under WKCDA to steer and oversee the exercise.
The seven shortlisted design teams will be requested to submit a detailed technical proposal to WKCDA around end of this year. Entries from the shortlisted design teams will be judged by an assessment panel of leaders in the relevant professional and arts and culture fields from Hong Kong and internationally: Mr Andrew LAM Siu-lo, Prof Leslie CHEN, Ms Kai-Yin LO, Prof David LUNG Ping-yee, Dr Elvin WONG Chi-chung, Mr Michael LYNCH, Dr MW CHAN, Dr Lars NITTVE, Mr Louis YU. The chosen design team will be appointed by early 2013.