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Brits miss out in West Kowloon arts pavilion contest

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UK firms David Kohn Architects and Matheson Whiteley have both narrowly missed out on a major project on the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong

The two London-based practices were part of separate teams which each received a commendation for their proposals in the Arts Pavilion competition.

Hong Kong practice Vpang Architects won the contest in partnership with Jet Architecture and Lisa Cheung.

The winning team will work with the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority to design and deliver an exhibition and event space for artists, designers and organisations. 

Due for completion next year, the Arts Pavilion will also serve as the M+ museum’s primary exhibition venue until the Herzog & de Meuron facility is finished in late 2017.

Although missing out on the top three prizes, the British designers secured useful commendations from the jury.

London-based Matheson Whiteley worked in partnership with local firm Andrew Lee King Fun & Associate Architects.

Meanwhile David Kohn Architects had teamed up with TFP Farrells - the Hong Kong arm of Terry Farrell’s practice - for the contest, which attracted more than 140 entries.

Matheson Whiteley said it proposed a ‘simple and direct structure’, providing a ‘highly intense’ setting for art.

‘The pavilion frames the radical changes that will occur across the site as the WKCDA masterplan is delivered,’ it added.

The winning design for the 610m2 pavilion impressed the judges with a ‘smart simplistic’ approach including allowing the pavilion to blend into its surroundings.

Mirrored external walls camouflage the architecture and reflect the surrounding expanses of greenery, according to the organisers.

The formal start of construction of Bing Thom Architects’ Xiqu Centre was last year hailed as a ‘defining moment’ for the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Results in full

Three winning entries

1st Prize: Vpang Architects, Jet Architecture Inc, Lisa Cheung
2nd Prize: Rogers Partners and Arthur C. S. Kwok Architects & Associates
3rd Prize: Hestia & Vish

Six commendation entries

  • Matheson Whiteley and Andrew Lee King Fun & Associates Architects
  • O Studio Architects Limited with ARCA
  • Jägnefält Milton with Leigh & Orange
  • David Kohn Architects with TFP Farrells
  • Nina Lesser, Michel Chung, Man Hok Wai, Nic Banks, Glory Wang
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