West Kowloon Cultural District

Shape of things to come

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 September, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 September, 2011, 12:00am

Arguably, Norman Foster has left his mark on Hong Kong more than any other architect, but the man who de- signed Chek Lap Kok airport and the HSBC headquarters has not finished yet. On the drawing board is the West Kowloon Cultural District, and before the firm's final design is unveiled next month, the public is being given a chance to learn about the projects that made Foster an architectural powerhouse.

Titled 'The Art of Architecture', the exhibition displays Foster's most recent plans for the district alongside models of 37 previous projects. A timeline ties together the 227 projects the firm has completed in 20 countries since its inception, as Foster Associates in 1967.

Curated by art historian and critic Richard Cork, the exhibition is struct- ured around four themes: sustainability, infrastructure, urban planning and history and culture. Models include the earliest design for the HSBC Building, which has a public lawn running from the bank to the waterfront, and futuristic ones such as that of the world's first 'spaceport', in New Mexico, in the United States.

Visitors will learn about the evolution of elements of the Kowloon arts hub, including the underground facilities and the spacing of buildings.

'Apart from being an exhibition of our work under these four main themes, it is also meant to address issues relevant to West Kowloon,' says Spencer de Grey, head of design at Foster + Partners. 'We're trying to show how our approach to design is inseparable from the arts district.'

Also on display are Foster's original sketches for the project and a short video that shows the company's staff at work.

The exhibition is open daily from 10am to 8pm until September 22 at Pao Galleries (4/F, Hong Kong Arts Centre, 2 Harbour Road, Wan Chai).