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July 30, 2012
Canadian architectural firms on Hong Kong arts venue shortlist
Two Canadian architectural firms are part of shortlisted international teams invited to submit proposals for the design of a high-profile performing arts venue in the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong.
Toronto’s Diamond Schmitt Architects, whose credits include the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto and the New Marinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia is collaborating with Wong & Ouyang (HK) Ltd. on the Xiqu Centre design.
Vancouver-based Bing Thom Architects, whose cultural projects include the Arena Stage in Washington, D.C., is part of a joint venture with Hong Kong’s Ronald Lu and Partners.
In all, five design teams have been shortlisted.
“The fact that these Canadian firms have made the shortlist for this prestigious international project is just further evidence that Canadian architects are world-class,” said Jim McKee, Architecture Canada | RAIC Executive Director.
“Again and again we are seeing fine examples of designs by Canadian architects coming out on top around the globe. We congratulate these firms, and wish them the best of luck in the final selection phase.”
Also shortlisted is Boston-based Safdie Architects.
Scheduled for completion by the end of 2015, the Xiqu Centre includes a 1,100-seat main theatre, a 400-seat small theatre and a tea house, to accommodate audiences of up to 280 people.
It is the first of 15 proposed performing arts venues in the new cultural district, to be built on a wedge-shaped waterfront site.
The project has attracted the attention of architectural firms from around the world. The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, the organization sponsoring the design competition, said more than 50 teams expressed interest in being considered for the project.
Shortlisted design teams will be invited to submit schematic designs of their concepts. The deadline is early October.
Submissions will be assessed on the basis of architectural, technical and sustainable design aspects as well as the ability to work with the client team, consultants and stakeholders.
This process is expected to be completed by the end of this year.
The cultural district is the largest project of its type to date in Hong Kong. It is intended to provide a vibrant cultural quarter for the city, a platform for the local arts scene to interact and major facilities to host and produce exhibitions, performances and arts and cultural events.
The project will be developed in phases.
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