West Kowloon Cultural District

The West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD – CN:西九文化區) is a large new and ongoing development that features green spaces, waterfront promenade, and cultural venues.

Venues at WKCD

  • Art Park – featuring a waterfront promenade the park offers green space plus amazing views of Victoria Harbour and Hong Kong Island. You can take in amazing sunsets here, hire bikes, take a picnic, or just stroll around the peaceful area. Open from 6:00am to 11:00pm daily.
  • Freespace – a large hall for contemporary performance hosting regular events and performances – See What’s on At Freespace
  • Xiqu Centre – (pictured below) arts venue dedicated to promoting the rich heritage of Xiqu (Traditional Chinese Opera). It houses a beautiful Grand Theatre, a smaller Tea House Theatre, and a large atrium for exhibitions and workshops. You can also take guided tours of the unique building. See What’s on at Xiqu
  • M+ Pavillion – exhibition and event space – See What’s on at M+ Pavillion
  • M+ (opening soon) – M+ is the new museum of visual culture focusing on 20th and 21st century art, design and architecture and moving image.
  • Lyric Theatre Complex (opening soon) – A centre for Hong Kong and international dance and theatre
  • Hong Kong Palace Museum (opening soon) – 7,600 square metres of gallery space dedicated ancient Chinese artifacts and life in the Chinese Imperial Court.

Restaurants and Cafes at WKCD

  • Rest – waterfront cafe and bar – website
  • PANO –  Western Coffee  (opening soon)
  • Wabi Sabi Coffee Kissa (opening soon)
  • Café Boheme (opening soon)
  • Hooman (opening soon)
  • Moon Lok Chinese Restaurant – inside the Xiqu Centre – Monday-Sunday: 9:00am-11:00pm – website

Nearby WKCD

Hotels near WKCD

W Hong Kong – Five Star – A modern luxury boutique hotel that offers a rooftop pool on the 76th floor, an international buffet, a Cantonese buffet, spa services, 24-hour gym, and rooms that have nice harbor views.
The HarbourView Place – Five Star – The luxury hotel shares amenities such as the rooftop pool with the above-listed W hotel. Large family rooms available.
The Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong – Five Star – Perhaps one of the nicest five-star hotels in Hong Kong, it offers unmatched views from its location on floors 102 to 118 of the International Commerce Centre.

Map of West Kowloon Cultural District

Map with transport/walking routes to Xiqu, Freespace, and M+ Pavillion.

Zoomed-in map with restaurant, toilet and bike hire locations

 

Wikipedia Says

Introduction

The wedge-shaped development site is 40 hectares in area, lies within the Yau Tsim Mong District and is bounded by Canton Road in the east, the Western Harbour Crossing entrance and Austin Road West in the north, and Victoria Harbour in the west and south.

History

Origin
In 1996, the Hong Kong Tourism Board took a survey of tourists visiting Hong Kong. The survey suggested that many of the tourists thought Hong Kong was lacking in cultural opportunities. The Hong Kong Tourism Board made a suggestion to Legco in 1998, proposing that new venues for art exhibitions and other cultural events be established. In the Chief Executive’s Policy Address of 1998, Tung Chee Hwa proposed the establishment of the West Kowloon Cultural District, hoping to develop Hong Kong as the hub for Culture and Art of Asia.

Design competition
An international design competition was organised in April 2001 to design the district and the ten-member judge panel selected the gigantic canopy design scheme submitted by Foster and Partners as the winner under eight aspects, which included “skillful integration of complexes”, “singularity of image” and “viability”.Leslie E. Robertson Associates were structural engineers for the concept design. However, the design was scrapped in 2005 due to intense public criticism.

Invitation for proposal
On 5 September 2003, the government announced an Invitation For Proposals for the Development of the district. While the government required provision of certain specified facilities, proponents were allowed considerable freedom in developing viable proposals — in the other words, the developers can sell residents and office space located in the lot for profit as long as they fulfil the government’s requirements: Three theatres with at least 2,000, 800 and 400 seats respectively; A performance venue with at least 10,000 seats; A cluster of four museums at least 75,000 square metres in size; An art exhibition centre at least 10,000 square metres in size; A water amphitheatre; At least four piazzas; and A canopy covering at least 55% of the development area.

Three proposals respectively submitted by Dynamic Star International Limited, Sunny Development Limited and World City Culture Park Limited were then consulted with the public from December 2004 to June 2005 in order to select the final proposal. Here are the shortlisted designs as presented during the six-month public consultation in 2005:

Current usage

West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade
Part of the site is used as a temporary promenade (West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade) managed by Leisure and Cultural Services Department, which can be accessed immediately to the east of Western Harbour Crossing toll booths, or via a pedestrian entrance close to the bus station to the west of the toll booths. Bicycles are available for hire, intended for riding along a short waterfront cycle track, which will be removed when the site is developed.

West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre
On 18–24 January 2012, the West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre was held at the junction of Canton Road and Austin Road West (the future site of the Xiqu Centre). It was the first cultural event organised by WKCDA to mark the launch of the design and construction stage of the district. The event was a combination of traditional Cantonese opera, contemporary visual art installations and film shows in collaboration with the Chinese Artist Association of Hong Kong and various renowned visual artists, attracted around 12,000 participants in 7 days.

WKCDA plans to make the Bamboo Theatre an annual event, extending the period to three weeks in 2013 to include other forms of performing arts including contemporary Chinese music and dance performances.

Authority

The WKCD Authority was established under the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority Ordinance, Cap 601 to develop the West Kowloon Cultural district that came into action on 11 July 2008. The authority is made up of the board, committees and executive board directors.

A Board of Directors was appointed to position in October, 2008. Its chairman was Chief Secretary Henry Tang Ying-yen. While government officials and experts were recruited to aid the authority operation temporarily, executives and managers were recruited to independently manage the operation.
The authority has an executive team of seven. Its first Executive Director (Project Delivery), Angus Cheng Siu-chuen, a former executive at Hong Kong Disneyland, was appointed in June 2009 but resigned for ‘personal reasons’ less than two weeks after taking up the post. Project Director Augustine Ng Wah-keung then led the project on a provisional basis.

On 24 March 2010, Graham Sheffield, formerly artistic director of London’s Barbican Centre, was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the authority on a three-year, HK$3.5 million-a-year contract. However, on 7 January 2011, he too suddenly resigned for “health reasons”, just five months after arriving in the job, and was not available to talk to the media. A recruitment exercise to replace Sheffield as chief executive was expected to be launched quickly.

The impact of the two top-level resignations worried art critics and a member of the Legislative Council’s home affairs panel, Tanya Chan, who feared that candidates for the job could be deterred by the apparent problems with the project, which could be delayed by a year, to 2020.

On 27 May 2011, Michael Lynch, the former Chief Executive of the London’s Southbank Centre, was appointed as CEO of West Kowloon Cultural District Authority by Hong Kong’s chief secretary Henry Tang. Lynch resigned in 2015, citing family reasons, and was replaced by Duncan Pescod, the authority’s incumbent chief operating officer.

Source: Wikipedia

Map

My location
Get Directions

Details

  • Website: www.westkowloon.hk
  • EN Address: West Kowloon Cultural District
  • Getting There: Art Park, Freespace, and M+ Pavilion: MTR Kowloon Station Exit E4 or E5, walk through Nga Cheung Road and cross the footbridge. Xiqu Centre: MTR Austin Station Exit F, via the pedestrian underpass

More things to do by type

More things to do by area

More things to do by nearby MTR Station

You may also like...