Hong Kong, China
Client West Kowloon Cultural District Authority
Type Cultural, Performing Arts
Size 305,000 sq.ft.
Status Completed 2018, awarded through design competition
Joint Venture Ronald Lu & Partners Ltd.
Photography Ema Peter
Xiqu Centre is Hong Kong’s prestigious new home for traditional Chinese opera. With its dramatic curvilinear façade and reinterpretation of the customary Chinese Moon Gate motif, Xiqu Centre creates a stunning landmark entrance as the gateway to the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD), the city’s new precinct for arts and culture.
Conceived as a cultural sanctuary, blending theatre, art, and a dynamic public realm, this iconic 7-storey performance venue is dedicated to promoting the rich heritage of Xiqu—Chinese opera, the primary genre of indigenous Chinese theatre—and to the production, education and research of this unique traditional art form.
Xiqu Centre houses an impressive 1,075-seat Main Theatre uniquely situated at the top of the building, an intimate 200-seat Tea House Theatre, eight professional studios and a seminar hall, retail space on two floors overlooking the central inner courtyard. Suspending the main auditorium 90 feet (27m) off the ground strategically isolates this state-of-the-art theatre from the vibration and high ambient noise levels of surrounding urban infrastructure and creates a stunning atrium space and open interior plaza beneath for the public to enjoy exhibitions, shops, music and art demonstrations.
Xiqu Centre embraces the cultural richness of East and West by creating a contemporary expression that allows heritage art form to continue is trajectory as it evolves with sophisticated technology.
This world-class venue features a dramatic glowing façade of woven metal panels, reminiscent of a lantern shimmering behind a beaded stage curtain. Composed of a modular system of scaled fins CNC-cut from untreated marine-grade aluminum pipe, selected for its alluring aesthetic and enhanced performance, the façade panels are gently pulled back like curtains at all four entrances to the building, radiating light to the exterior while revealing the vibrant flow of visitors in and out of the interior courtyard.