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URBAN ARTSCAPE - Restructuring of Cultural Complex, T.S.T

Part 2 Project 1999
Wing Cheong Liu
University of Hong Kong China
“MAN, ART, and SPACE, here they meet in a new relationship.”
-Hans Scharoun

Art venues in Hong Kong are rigid and enclosed. The cultural complex development was an effort initiated by the Hong Kong Government. The development was divided into 4 phases: firstly, a space museum, then, auditoria, museum of art and finally, an underground shopping mall. However, owing to the lack of a coherent master plan, buildings at each phase are but only isolated objects deposited on the ground. The massive buildings, having solid blank walls, had nothing to say and thus remained silent. Take, for example, the ski-slope form of the auditoria, failing to assist in acoustical effects, is just a post-card type kitsch symbol of a traditional "junk boat" image of the old Hong Kong. Moreover, concepts like grandeur, floor area/no. of seats and building scale have taken priority over the assemblage of people, space and events. They resulted in being "Pseudo-elitist" - projecting “High Art” imagery that stretched distances from the public and hindered their participation.

Such notions need reinterpretations. As a cultural complex, and the hub of art development for Hong Kong, the buildings should be spatially integrated – A TRUE COMPLEX – rather than the sum of several buildings. The design explores the possibility to restructure the spaces in both the open air and the interior, which is not another artifact – isolated buildings deposited upon the site. The notion of buildings as figural is reinterpreted, with the application of In-between spaces as flexible, transparent and interactive art spaces in the form of a landscaped plinth: An ARTSCAPE. Art experience and day-to-day routine melt together: to allow public participation without necessarily going into the containers.

Wing Cheong Liu

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