Arts Cross, a pavilion that crosses the boundaries between arts and urban life
Prior to the completion of M+, The Art Pavilion project will first be completed among all the developments in the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD). Thus, a generic design approach for this promenade pavilion project is undesirable. Our proposal, the A+ is not any other exhibition space or a simple pavilion that sits inside a city park, but a place for the public and arts to intertwine; a place for arts’ incubation; and a place to contribute to the unprecedented dynamics for our ever growing art scenes in our beloved city, Hong Kong. The A+ will serve as the prelude to this promenade WKCD project.
In the current vast and vacant land situation of the WKCD, a pavilion that is designed uniquely in harmony with and specific to the site become the main challenge. Paradoxically, with its tabula rasa character, the site encourages open air urban festive events to happen. While also situated at the heart of the city, it offers a tranquil openness experience overlooking the Victoria Harbour. In response to the confluence of the foresaid, we design our A+ with the concept of spatial renewal and idea of metamorphosis. In the extroverted side, A+ acts as an urban art events’ dynamo; while on the introverted side, it is an institute for art appreciation and personal enrichment. Instead of having predefined functional space, A+ offers a dynamic and ever changing experience to the visitors.
In contrast to the conventional building concept of maximized flexibility with a single bulk, A+ is organized into a cluster of Urban Rooms celebrating a central skylight garden. The Urban Rooms intertwine with the elevated Portal Frames to create the series of semi- open entry way. Not only do these portals become the anchors for temporary installation and arts, but also point towards all other major urban anchors in WKCD, such as: M+ Artist Square, The Avenue, Concert Hall, and the waterfront promenade.
All the Urban Rooms are connected with the shaded semi-open portal to function as one singular venue. Yet, each Room is bestowed with the autonomy and flexibility to operate as an individual cell of the system for independent rental and use. The Urban Room Cluster will allow penetration of the urban lives from the outside to create unexpected encounters and activities of arts in the inside. The cluster suggests a preset linear experience, while it can also be explored in many other configurations pending on different scenarios.
The other important consideration of A+ is its shimmering façade of the Portal Frames. Intended to give an ever changing image back to the city, the façade is constructed with highly reflective and polished aluminium foil hung in the air. Due to the extreme lightness of the material used, the foil would even response to the subtle change of our Victoria Harbour’s wind. The resulting appearance of A+ is constantly evolving and changing with the surroundings. These Frames will also act as a series of outdoor canvas for constant renewal of artist interventions where are visible from afar.
Through A+, we envisage the crossing of arts and urban lives would bring good faith in the context of WKCD, and also to the emerging art scenes of Hong Kong. A+ is an experimental workshop for art making and sharing; an urban art room to engage the public; an event stage for urban fest and dynamics; and a contemplative garden in the heart of the city or a combination of all of the above.