Xiqu Centre by Revery Architecture and Ronald Lu & Partners | THE PLAN
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Xiqu Centre

Revery Architecture | Ronald Lu & Partners

Xiqu Centre by Revery Architecture and Ronald Lu & Partners | THE PLAN
By Revery Architecture -

The Xiqu Centre is the first performing arts center in Hong Kong’s new West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD). Conceived as a cultural sanctuary, blending theater, art and public space for celebration and contemplation, Xiqu Centre is a joint venture between Revery Architecture (formerly Bing Thom Architects) and Ronald Lu & Partners. The Xiqu Centre embraces the cultural richness of East and West by creating a contemporary expression of xiqu - the primary genre of indigenous Chinese theater - that allows this Chinese cultural heritage to continue its trajectory as it evolves with contemporary technology. With its brilliant façade and reinterpretation of the customary Chinese Moon Gate motif, Xiqu Centre creates a captivating landmark entrance as the gateway to WKCD, the city’s new precinct for arts and culture. This iconic performing arts venue is to be featured on the new HK $100 banknote, emphasizing its social and cultural significance to the Hong Kong Spirit. Xiqu Centre houses a breathtaking 1,000-seat Grand Theatre uniquely situated at the top of the building and flanked by two outdoor sky gardens offering outstanding vistas of Victoria Harbour and the city beyond. The innovative design decision to suspend the main theater - the heart of Xiqu Centre - 27 m above the ground strategically isolates the auditorium from the vibration and high ambient noise levels of the building’s surrounding urban context and extensive city infrastructure. Elevating the theater also creates space for the multi-level atrium and naturally ventilated plaza comprising rehearsal spaces, the Tea House Theatre of 200 seats for more intimate performances, as well as education and administrative spaces, lecture rooms and retail areas overlooking the central inner courtyard. Qi (flow) is expressed throughout the complex with curvilinear paths and forms designed around a vast circular atrium. The Center’s dramatic glowing curvilinear façade, which reimagines theater drapes and the swaying folds of the performers’ costumes, comprises a modular system of scaled fins CNC-cut from untreated marine-grade aluminum pipe, selected for both its alluring aesthetic and enhanced performance. Arrayed in alternating patterns along the building, these curved fins radiate a captivating glow reminiscent of a lantern shimmering behind a beaded stage curtain, just as it might have looked in days gone by. The façade’s woven metal panels are gently pulled back at all four corner entrances to the building, radiating light to the exterior while revealing the vibrant flow of visitors in and out of the interior courtyard. Opening up into the circular atrium, this courtyard plaza invites the public to enjoy the exhibitions, browse shops, listen to music or watch xiqu demonstrations, making this art form accessible to new audiences and future generations. The Xiqu Centre design offers a journey of transition from urban site to a cultural landscape. A new entrance to the subway, as well as the creation of an outdoor urban garden enable the building to step back from the noisy, heavily trafficked street. Working closely with Revery Architecture, SWA’s landscape design blends with and echoes the architecture, bringing life to this unique public space.

Location: Hong Kong, China
Client: West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA)
Completion: 2019
Architects: Revery Architecture in joint venture with Ronald Lu & Partners
Principals in Charge: Venelin Kokalov, Bing Thom (Revery Architecture), Ronald LU (Ronald Lu & Partners)
Directors: Earle Briggs, Francis Yan (Revery Architecture), Bryant LU, Andy LEUNG, Peter YAM (Ronald Lu & Partners)
Design Team: Ling Meng, Giles Hall, Johnnie Kuo, Kyle Chan, Amirali Javidan, Daniel Gasser, Marcos Hui, April Wong, KK Wong, Culum Osbourne, Bibianka Fehr, Nicole Hu, Elaine Tong, Charles Leman, Chun Choy, Brian Ackerman, Ryan Shaban, Chapman Chan, Vuk Krcmar-Grkavac, YiMei Chan (Revery Architecture); Alex Chua, Edward Leung, Ray Lee, Andy Chan, Marco Chan, Raymond Lee, Steven Ho, Hon Mung Ying, Billy Cheung, Eugene Ching, Eureka Chu, Alice Wan, Alvin Kung (Ronald Lu & Partners)
Main Contractor: Hip Hing Construction

SWA Group
Structural and MEP: Arup
Theater: Fisher Dachs and Associates
Façade: Front
Acoustics: Sound Space Vision (SSV)
Signage: 2x4
Lighting: Horton Lees Brogden Lighting Design

Photography: © Ema Peter, courtesy of Revery Architecture; © David Lloyd, courtesy of SWA Group

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