Xiqu Center, West Kowloon Cultural District / 2017

ArchitectBing Thom Architects / Ronald Lu Architects

The Xiqu Centre is the first building to be constructed in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, marking the development as an emerging cultural hub. The building itself symbolizes the rich heritage of Xiqu (Chinese Opera), and promotes the Xiqu tradition, as a contemporary art form, making it accessible to new audiences and future generations.

The building’s striking entrance reinterprets the traditional Chinese Moongate motif within a dynamic facade. “Qi” or flow is expressed throughout the complex with curvilinear paths and forms. The architecture incorporates a generous amount of public leisure space, 21,500 ft2 (2,000 m2) of training and education facilities, two high caliber auditoria for 1,100 and 400 seats, and a traditional Tea House for performances with audiences of up to 280.

Front collaborated with the architects to find a unique cladding design and raw material finish that would satisfy the strong architectural idea while minding the strict budgetary constraints. Ultimately a raw aluminum alloy with high corrosion resistance was selected and finished in two different ways. The curtain wall back-pans have a randomized mechanical brush finish that is done by a custom built machine to process the large panels as a whole. A machine glass bead blasted finish over mill offers a subtle color difference from the back-pans and slightly softer appearance from afar. The fins are attached to the curtain wall panels on site through custom milled stainless steel brackets that are factory integrated into the curtain wall panel.

Xiqu Centre under construction - May 2016