West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre
by William Lim

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Chinese New Year begins today and celebrations in Hong Kong include Cantonese operas performed at a pop-up bamboo theatre in the new West Kowloon Cultural District.

William Lim of local architects CL3 designed the temporary structure in the same style as traditional bamboo theatres built since the 1950s.

West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre by William Lim

Orange nylon sheets are stretched over the tiered roof to imitate the ancient palaces of Beijing's Forbidden City, while colourful fabric signs mounted on bamboo scaffolding face out onto the street.

Red chairs, curtains and lanterns adorn the interior, while more lanterns and flags are hung up outside in red and gold, as both colours are considered lucky in Hong Kong and China.

West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre by William Lim

For three weeks the West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre will occupy the site earmarked for the new Xiqu Chinese Opera Centre, which is being designed by Vancouver firm Bing Thom Architects and Hong Kong studio Ronald Lu & Partners Company Ltd, and is due to complete in 2017.

Foster + Partners won a competition to masterplan the West Kowloon Cultural District in 2010, beating designs by OMA and Rocco Design Architects. Herzog & de Meuron, SANAA and Renzo Piano are among the teams shortlisted to design a new visual culture museum for the area and Aric Chen has been appointed to curate it.

West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre by William Lim

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