Hong Kong’s future arts hub enjoys successful 2010

The past year was an eventful one for the West Kowloon Cultural District. The people and artists of Hong Kong began to see the WKCD take shape—from the conclusion of Stage 1 of the Public Engagement (PE) exercise, to the unveiling of the Conceptual Plan Options, to its international debut at the famous Venice Biennale, to the conclusion of the Stage 2 PE, and now a fresh round of anticipation of the exciting developments 2011 will bring.

Alongside plans for the district, the WKCD’s leadership also took shape. Every major post was filled with highly accomplished and experienced arts professionals from Hong Kong and around the world who collectively give the Authority the perfect balance of local expertise and overseas best practices. By the new year, all senior executives will be in place and ready to take the project towards its realisation.

Here is a look back at just a few of the important events the Authority has undertaken to take Hong Kong’s future arts hub forward in 2010.

exhibitionJanuary 7: Stage 1 of the PE exercise, which began on 8 October 2009, drew to a close. The effort generated a wealth of feedback from stakeholders that helped the Authority gauge the community’s aspirations and expectations for the district and set guidelines for how the Conceptual Plan Consultants (CPCs) should approach their master plans. Over 6,000 comments and questionnaires were collected.





exhibitionFebruary: To give students firsthand experience on the planning of the district, the Authority organised approximately 30 guided tours at the West Kowloon site for secondary school students, who came to learn about the planning and development of the WKCD as well as tour the 2009 Hong Kong and Shenzhen Bi-City Biennale of Urbanism and Architecture which was staged at the WKCD site. The students contributed many interesting and innovative ideas for WKCD and voiced their hopes that the district be completed as soon as possible.




exhibitionMarch-June: The Board of the WKCDA named its senior executive team, starting with the announcement that Mr Graham Sheffield—Artistic Director of the renowned Barbican Centre in London—would come on board as CEO. In April, the Authority appointed Mr Louis Yu Kwok-lit to the post of Executive Director, Performing Arts, and in June, Mr Lars Nittve—former Director of London’s Tate Gallery of Modern Art and Stockholm’s Moderna Museet—was named Executive Director, M+. By the end of June, all senior management posts were filled.



exhibitionAugust 20: The three Conceptual Plan Options for the WKCD were unveiled at the opening ceremony for Stage 2 of the Public Engagement exercise. Stage 2 lasted three months and concluded in November. During this time, members of the public, professional as well as arts and cultural groups voiced their views on the three Conceptual Plan Options: City Park, prepared by Foster + Partners, led by Lord Norman Foster; Cultural Connect: Key to Sustained Vitality, prepared by Rocco Design Architects Limited, led by Mr. Rocco Yim; and Project for a New Dimension, prepared by Office for Metropolitan Architecture, led by Mr Rem Koolhaas. The plans were displayed at exhibitions across Hong Kong.


exhibitionAugust 27: The West Kowloon Cultural District made its international debut at the 12th Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition. The Conceptual Plans for the district were exhibited to the visitors around the world for two months, and viewers were also encouraged to give feedback via a sleek touchscreen computer system. The Authority also hosted a very well-received panel forum, “Hong Kong Arts: Imagining the Future”, featuring Authority CEO Mr. Graham Sheffield, Executive Director, M+ (Designate) Mr. Lars Nittve, Lord Norman Foster, Mr. Rem Koolhaas and Mr. Rocco Yim.



exhibitionNovember 20: Stage 2 of the Public Engagement exercise drew to a close. During Stage 2, the Authority received over 7,000 comments and questionnaires. More than 30,000 people, including 4,000 students from 78 schools, viewed the Conceptual Plan Options at the roving exhibition. A Selection Panel was appointed to assess the three proposals and will make a recommendation to the Board for a final decision by the first quarter of 2011.





December 2010-January 2011: Consultation with performing arts stakeholders continues. The Authority is working to ensure that the artistic positioning and technical features of core arts and culture facilities meet the needs of artists.

Looking ahead, 2011 will be equally eventful as the Authority continues its engagement with the public to develop a detailed Development Plan that will lay out Hong Kong’s future arts and cultural hub at West Kowloon. Stay tuned for more announcements from the Authority as we work together to make the WKCD dream a reality.



Next Next