A shortlist of five design teams was announced this week by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA). The selected teams are now invited to submit proposals for the design of the Xiqu Center, one of the first landmark buildings for the West Kowloon Cultural District, the largest cultural project in Hong Kong to date.
The Xiqu Center, scheduled for completion around the end of 2015, will be the first of 17 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 Center will provide a gateway of access to the Cultural District. The competition covers the design of a 1,100-seat main theater, a 400-seat small theater, a Tea House for performances for audiences up to 280 and ancillary training and education facilities.
The five shortlisted teams are (in alphabetical order):
- BTA + RLP Company Ltd. (a joint venture partnership between Bing Thom Architects, Vancouver and Ronald Lu and Partners, HK)
- Foster + Partners with O Studio Architects
- Mecanoo architecten / Leigh & Orange
- Safdie Architects LLC
- Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd. (in collaboration with Diamond and Schmitt Architects)
"There has been a fantastic response to our plans for the Xiqu Center from design teams from across the world," said Louis Yu, Executive Director, Performing Arts. "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 October 5, 2012. Entries from the shortlisted design teams will be assessed by a Jury Panel made up of prominent leaders in the relevant professional and arts and culture fields from Hong Kong, Mainland China and internationally. WKCDA's Development Committee member and Chairman of the Steering Committee, Mr LEE Shing See, is Convenor of the Jury Panel.
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. All submissions by the shortlisted design teams will be judged in accordance with the four broad categories of assessment guidelines:
- Architectural Design Aspects
- Technical Design Aspects
- Sustainable Design Aspects
- Ability to work together with the Client Team/ Consultants/ Stakeholders
The Jury Panel is expected to complete their assessment before the end of the year and recommend to WKCDA's Development Committee and the Board a team for consideration to be appointed to design and administer the Xiqu Center project.
Shortlisted design teams will be provided with lists of nominated Theater Planning Sub-consultants and Acoustic Sub-consultants for selection to collaborate in achieving the optimal theatrical and acoustic standards in their designs. The sub-consultants were previously shortlisted after a global invitation of Expression of Interests in March.
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