SWA Group not too long ago accomplished the general public realm of Xiqu Heart, the brand new house for Chinese language opera and a prestigious world-class efficiency venue. Positioned within the densely populated West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) in Hong Kong, the venue opened its doorways to the general public earlier this yr, providing town a public realm expertise that’s each memorable and weird.
As town’s new precinct for arts and tradition, WKCD is a brand new multi-billion-dollar hub aiming to draw each vacationers and locals with theaters, music venues, a museum, eating places, outlets, and extra. The results of a high-profile worldwide design competitors, Xiqu Heart made its mark within the district as the primary efficiency venue, in addition to the primary venue globally particularly designed for classical Chinese language opera. In one other first, Xiqu Heart affords an thrilling new paradigm for public realm area that could be a dramatic various to the usually small-scaled outside public areas frequent to Hong Kong.
Working intently with Revery Structure, SWA’s scope of labor entailed designing your complete floor degree, which incorporates a dramatic, naturally ventilated open-air inside courtyard. Directly indoor and outside, Xiqu’s floor ground serves as an city stage, designed to facilitate motion, present a gathering area and improve the customer expertise. Right here, panorama and structure mix seamlessly, making a theater of public life that provides one other dimension to the constructing’s providing of operatic efficiency.
“The choice to droop the constructing’s major theater 90 ft within the air enabled an revolutionary method to a constricted website, opening up your complete floor degree as public area,” defined panorama architect John Wong, FASLA, FAAR, design principal and chairman of SWA. “It ends in a brand new paradigm of an open, shaded, protecting and beneficiant public plaza in Hong Kong’s legendary dense city cloth.”
Groupings of bushes at every entry and within the central area blur the excellence between inside and exterior. “Qi”- a central idea to the mission – is expressed in each the dynamic architectural and panorama design, with supplies, colours, varieties, and textures united all through. Outlined as vitality or movement, “Qi” is expressed within the curvilinear paths and varieties woven all through the multi-level construction, making it attainable for lively programming and for pedestrian guests to movement into and thru the venue.
“Probably the most welcoming aspect is the coated civic plaza on the floor degree, the place individuals from all walks of life can collect,” mentioned panorama architect Mandana Parvinian, Affiliate Principal at SWA. “The panorama design blends with and echoes the structure, bringing life to this distinctive public area. It is open on three corners for anybody to freely enter and benefit from the performances on the plaza’s elevated and shaded heart stage.”
The constructing’s exterior is curved three-dimensionally, with arched openings strategically positioned in any respect corners and a lifted façade enabling three major entry areas entry to the bottom degree. Every entry-level is decided by the encompassing website situations, which seize the movement of pedestrians at a number of levels-whether the neighboring below-grade transportation and business hub or the ground-level Centre and the Cultural District. On the positioning’s floor degree which additionally serves because the constructing’s inside, SWA launched topography, which concerned grading and sloping planes together with a grand curving stairway, ramp, and amphitheater to attach them. The field workplace is tucked beneath the amphitheater seating. From exterior to inside, SWA designed paving that helps to unify the constructing’s floor degree, first and second flooring, in addition to two outside gardens flanking the primary efficiency corridor on the 4th (prime) ground.
The Xiqu Centre design affords a journey of transition from city website to a cultural panorama. From the Xiqu Courtyard, patrons journey by escalators to the view terrace gardens, with the panorama and theatre expertise intently intertwined with majestic views in the direction of Victoria Harbor. A brand new entrance to the subway, in addition to the creation of an outside city backyard, allows the constructing to step again from the noisy, closely trafficked avenue. There, a parterre of planting and seating present separation, in addition to a devoted setting for the entry to the enduring new heart. A shocking public amphitheater with an outside efficiency space caps off this vibrant city vacation spot for the WKCD.
Pictures: David Lloyd, Courtesy SWA Group