Foster + Partners shortlisted to design
Hong Kong arts venue

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Dezeen Wire:
Foster + Partners have been shortlisted to design the Xiqu Chinese Opera Centre, the first in a series of new arts and cultural venues for the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong.

Collaborating with local studio O Studio Architects, the firm is one of five in a shortlist that also includes Safdie Architects, Mecanoo Architecten, Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd. and Bing Thom Architects.

Foster + Partners won a competition to design the masterplan for the district in 2010, beating entries by OMA and Rocco Design Architects.

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See all our stories about the West Kowloon Cultural District »

Read the full press release below:


Leading British architectural firm Foster + Partners shortlisted for arts venue in one of worlds largest cultural infrastructure projects.

Shortlisted design teams announced for the first arts venue in the West Kowloon Cultural District.

(17 July 2012, Hong Kong) The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) announced today a shortlist of five design teams that have been invited to submit proposals for the architectural design of the Xiqu Centre, one of the landmark cultural venues for the West Kowloon Cultural District.

The five shortlisted teams are:

» BTA & RLP Company Limited (Bing Thom Architects, Vancouver, and Ronald Lu and Partners, HK)
» Foster + Partners (UK) with O Studio Architects (HK)
» Mecanoo architecten (the Netherlands) / Leigh & Orange (HK)
» Safdie Architects LLC (US & Israel)
» Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd. (in collaboration with Diamond and Schmitt, Canada)

The Xiqu Centre, scheduled for completion at 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. The Chinese opera venue will provide a world-class facility for the preservation and development of the art form in Hong Kong and will be designed to host and produce the finest examples of Cantonese and other Chinese opera performances. Occupying a prime site at the eastern edge of the District on the corner of Canton Road and Austin Road West, the 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.

The teams were shortlisted by the West Kowloon Cultural Authority Board following the recommendation of an independent Steering Committee set up to oversee the design competition, assisted by an Independent Professional Advisor, and with the participation of the Jury Panel.

Mr Louis Yu, Executive Director, Performing Arts, said:
“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 5 October, 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, China and internationally: Mr. Cui Kai, Architect, China; Prof. Odile Decq, Architect/ Urbanist, France; Mr. Jordi Farrando, Architect, Spain; Mr. Lee Shing See GBS, OBE, JP, WKCDA Development Committee member and Chairman of the Steering Committee and Engineer – Hong Kong, China; Mr. Mao Chun Fai, Fredric BBS, Theatre Director, Hong Kong, China; Mr. Pau Shiu Hung SBS, Architect, Hong Kong, China; Mr. Yuen Siu Fai, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong.

Further details on the Design Competition are available on the WKCDA website: http://www.wkcda.hk/en/architectural_competition/xiqucentre