Genuine arts district needed at site

PUBLISHED : Friday, 29 March, 2002, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 29 March, 2002, 12:00am

I refer to the report headlined 'Foster says super-roof will work' (South China Morning Post, March 16) regarding the race to develop the West Kowloon reclamation.

Your story makes a very good point that the canopy designed by Lord Norman Foster restricts the site to a single developer.

The rules of the competition (won by Lord Foster) for the development of the area indicated that elements of the winning concept would be taken to further design competition.

This implies that individual components should be identifiable within an integrated scheme concept.

Lord Foster's entry is not compatible with this objective or with other basic criteria for the provision of an arts, entertainment and cultural district.

Transport is the key to this site. One only has to look at the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront to see the effect of pedestrian estrangement. For example, the Palace Mall shopping centre is 90 per cent vacant and yet is close to Nathan Road.

I hope the Government has the courage to take note of the many concerns of the relevant Hong Kong professionals and chooses to ignore the judging panel of the competition which chose Lord Foster, by nurturing a true arts, entertainment and cultural design concept for West Kowloon.