The West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong is a project awaiting fruition. Planning for the 23-hectare waterfront cultural centre began in earnest in 2006; early in 2011, the selection of London-based Foster + Partner’s plan raised the international profile of the project. Headed by Norman Foster, they are known for their glass-and-steel structures, including London’s Gherkin, the new Wembley Stadium, and the Beijing Capital International Airport (2008).
According to the plan, which has been modified several times and has faced repeated funding and planning delays, the cultural district will include a performance venue, concert hall, and two museums. One of those, the M+ Museum, has generated its own share of publicity by its selection of Lars Nittve to head up the museum. Nittve, the former director of London’s Tate Modern, will become executive director of the M+ despite admitting to a lack of knowledge of Hong Kong‘s cultural space. Clearly taking cues from the Tate Modern, the M+ Museum will focus on four elements: design, popular culture, moving images, and visual art.
In the meantime, the harbour front with its view of the Hong Kong skyline is not going to waste. Instead, it has emerged as a venue for outdoor events, including the Hong Kong’s Clockenflap Music and Arts Festivalwill be held at the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade in December.