A world-class arts venue dedicated to promoting the rich heritage of xiqu
Bing Thom Architects and Ronald Lu & Partners
There are very few contemporary examples of purpose-built venue for xiqu anywhere in the world. As such, the design requires in-depth study of the art form and its practices. This is compounded with the added challenge of having to respond to an evolving artform that is both historic and contemporary in equal measure.
In order to find the ideal design and consultancy team for the Xiqu Centre, we launched a ten-month long competition in March 2012. Over fifty practices from around the world expressed interest. In December 2012, a joint venture by leading Canadian architect Bing Thom Architects and Hong Kong award-winning architect Ronald Lu & Partners was selected from a shortlist of five consortiums to design this landmark venue.
Bing Thom Architects and Ronald Lu & Partners’ design answered what we were looking for – the essence of xiqu embodied in a building. It successfully blends theatre, arts education and public space together and the design reflects four core design principles integral to the art form and Chinese culture:
- The concept of ‘flow’ or ‘qi’ is interpreted in the fluid movements in the building and the use of curved planes, arched openings and circular paths.
- The concept of nature is expressed by bringing the landscape into different levels of the building to create in-between spaces;
- The concept of gateway and pavilion is represented in the openness and door-less nature of the design, welcoming different visitors into the building from all four of its corners;
- The concept of courtyard is presented as a generous covered public space on ground level, which serves as a perfect urban stage for events and celebrations.
Once completed, the Xiqu Centre will be a landmark building for Hong Kong, not just for its appearance, but also for the way it preserves and reinvents xiqu for the city and beyond.
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