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Old July 6th, 2013, 06:01 AM   #841
hkskyline
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Welcome to the culture club
The Standard
Wednesday, June 26, 2013



The West Kowloon Cultural District project is being set in concrete as we speak, and racing to ensure nothing slips through the cracks at this late stage is a dedicated team.

But some problems are building, the most significant being construction costs soaring over budget.

And as if the road ahead isn't bumpy enough, the district authority lost communications and marketing chief Garmen Chan Ka-yiu, who reached retirement age.

Finding a replacement of comparable caliber must have posed quite a headache, but for a protracted headhunting exercise.

That secured a successor of equally high standing in Wendy Lam Yuen-mui - who previously held top positions at both the Arts Development Council and the Consumer Council.

I understand Lam has been on board the West Kowloon project for nearly a month now.

She had indicated she would be looking for new challenges when her Consumer Council contract expired last October.

I heard that talks about her appointment were initiated when she bumped into West Kowloon Cultural District Authority board member Ma Fung-kwok at a function.

She and Ma had worked together for several years at the Arts Development Council when he was chairman there.

West Kowloon is a mammoth and expensive project involving numerous stakeholders, with the key ones being the arts and cultural sector, government officials as well as politicians.

Given its scale, the project and how it turns out impacts on the way the outside world perceives us. As such,
there is an intricate division of responsibilities in place to ensure there are no contradictions on the inside.

A joint Legislative Council subcommittee chaired by Christopher Chung Shu-kun is also scrutinizing its implementation like a hawk.

There has been talk that the project may be watered down to curb costs.

Friends asked Lam how she plans to tackle these thorny issues, and the key for her to winning public support lies in the whole process being transparent.

She reassured them she is fully aware of the complexity and immensity of the project, and as such, will not underestimate the challenges of her new position.

Siu Sai-wo is chief editor of Sing Tao Daily
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Old July 6th, 2013, 09:13 AM   #842
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Swiss architecture studio Herzog & de Meuron has been selected to design a visual culture museum (M+) in Hong Kong's new West Kowloon Cultural District.











Source: http://www.designboom.com/architectu...eum-hong-kong/
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Old September 15th, 2013, 03:50 PM   #843
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Arts hub may suffer from din of trains
Environmental study suggests rumbling from railways under the West Kowloon site could annoy patrons trying to enjoy performances
14 September 2013
South China Morning Post

Underground rumbling from passing trains might disturb patrons trying to appreciate the arts at the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Noise from two railway lines running under the arts hub will exceed the specified maximum level for three key venues, an environmental impact assessment for the project shows - and an art critic says vibration could be a bigger worry.

But the arts hub says the problem will be offset by the design of the buildings.

According to the assessment, the maximum noise from the West Rail line in the Xiqu Centre for traditional opera will be 32 decibels, against a specified level of 25.

The Tung Chung Line will cause up to 56 decibels of noise at the M+ Museum and Lyric Theatre, against specified maximums of 35 and 25 decibels respectively.

The assessment report, which was open for public comment until August 21, has yet to be tabled to the Advisory Council on the Environment for endorsement.

Engineer Greg Wong Chak-yan, who is familiar with rail work, said 56 dB could be compared to the noise at construction sites without pile-driving, while 32 dB "should be very quiet".

All three venues meet the requirements for continuous noise level, but not the maximum level. Wong said the maximum level meant occasional noise that would not last long.

"It's not a serious problem, but of course the tough standards were made to suit an arts venue," he said.

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority said ground-borne noise-control measures were incorporated into the design and construction of the cultural facilities built above the railways.

"Given the … railways' proximity to the arts hub, at-receiver noise and vibration control measures such as building isolation or box-in-box installations will be required in the design of relevant arts and cultural venues," a spokesman said, adding that there will be "no extra cost to the project".

He said the arts hub did not have an estimate of the noise and vibration levels after control measures were installed but it would strive to meet international standards.

"Building isolation can reduce up to 20dB of structural-borne noise, [and] typical box-in-box installation can reduce up to 15dB," the spokesman said.

Art critic John Batten said noise and vibrations could affect art appreciation.

"Will it affect the exhibition you want to put on?" he asked. "There's a worry there and there will be more concerns about the vibrations.

"Most museums have concerns about vibrations. Is that the right spot for M+?"

Wong said the problem could be alleviated by improving the MTR tracks or laying noise-absorbing material in the venues.

"But either way, it shouldn't cost much, and the costs should be shouldered by the district authority," he said. "The railways have always been there, and it was the authority which chose to build on top of them."

The MTR said it would contact the authority for more information.
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Old September 25th, 2013, 02:47 PM   #844
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WKCDA breaks ground on Xiqu Centre in Hong Kong

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) has broken ground on the $350m Xiqu Centre in Hong Kong's £1.7bn cultural district(source). Xiqu Centre will be the first of the 17 core arts and cultural buildings that are planned to be built in the West Kowloon Cultural District, which is scheduled to be completed by 2016.
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Old September 30th, 2013, 07:57 PM   #845
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It’s about time! Work finally starts at cultural centre project

Source: http://www.construction-post.com/tim...entre-project/

25 Sep 2013


Ground-breaking for first facility Xiqu Centre at West Kowloon

Work has finally started on the first facility for the government’s showcase project, the West Kowloon Cultural District, fifteen years after it was first mooted.

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority held a ground-breaking ceremony on Tuesday for the Xiqu Centre which will be used for performances of Chinese opera on completion in 2016.

The centre, budgetted at HK$2.5 billion, will have a gross floor area of over 23,700 square metres (255,107 square feet) over seven storeys and two basement levels.

Among the planned facilities in the centre are a main theatre with 1,100 seats, a tea house, arts education facilities, external performance space and retail and dining areas.

The centre is located at the junction of Canton Road and Austin Road West, immediately north of Tsim Sha Tsui Fire Station.


Shovels at the ready - Chief Secretary for Administration and also Chairman of the Board of the West Kowloon Cultural Authority Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (sixth from left) officiates at the ground breading ceremony for the Xiqu Centre (Danny Chung)

Shovels at the ready – Chief Secretary for Administration and also Chairman of the Board of the West Kowloon Cultural Authority Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor (sixth from left) officiates at the ground breading ceremony for the Xiqu Centre (Danny Chung)

Speaking to the press afterwards, authority chief executive officer Michael Lynch said the authority was working hard to develop the other facilities for the cultural district.

“Like Rome, it just doesn’t happen in a day,” Lynch said.

The cultural district project has been beset by delays by concerns over design and huge construction and operating costs since the project was first proposed by the-then Chief Executive Tung Chee-hwa in 1998.

The authority is now looking to supplement the HK$21.6 billion endowment approved by the Legislative Council in 2008, Lynch said, with corporate sponsorship and philanthropic gifts.

The authority had no figure in mind for the additional funding although executive director for performing arts Louis Yu Kwok-lit said: “Of course, the more the better.”

Lynch said the first batch of facilities, which also includes the M+ museum, would be delivered within budget.

He pointed out that apart from the endowment, land was also provided to the authority by the government.

“They have given us the most valuable piece of real estate in the world,” Lynch said.

According to a paper submitted to the Legislative Council in early July, the authority said the latest “ballpark estimate” of construction cost for the whole project was about HK$47.1 billion, more than double the HK$21.6 billion endowment.

Authority executive director for project delivery Chan Man-wai said the contract sum for the foundation work, which was awarded to French specialist contractor Bachy Soletanche, was less than HK$100 million.
The Xiqu Centre for performances of Chinese opera is slated for completion in 2016. The entrance to the building is designed to resemble the curtain of a theatre stage (Photo courtesy of BTA & RLP Company Limited and West Kowloon Cultural District Authority)



The Xiqu Centre for performances of Chinese opera is slated for completion in 2016. The entrance to the building is designed to resemble the curtain of a theatre stage (Photo courtesy of BTA & RLP Company Limited and West Kowloon Cultural District Authority)

The authority has just started inviting expressions of interest from contractors for the superstructure works, which would also include the basement levels.

A shortlist of contractors for tender would be compiled early next year with awarding of tender sometime in the second quarter.

“I think April/May,” Chan said.

The Building Authority approved the building plans, drawn up by a joint venture of Bing Thom Architects and Ronald Lu & Partners, for the Xiqu Centre in July.

Renowned British architect firm Foster + Partners won a design competition in 2011 for the master plan for the cultural district, the second time it has done so after the first master plan was eventually scrapped due to concerns over cost.

While the government and the authority were basking in the good vibes generated by the Xiqu Centre, one construction industry observer remained sceptical about the whole project.

“Probably the only thing that will be built while they wrangle over the rest,” he quipped.

Danny Chung
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Old October 4th, 2013, 07:01 PM   #846
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herzog & de meuron reveal new images of M+ museum

Sources:
http://zeusitup.com/herzog-de-meuron...s-of-m-museum/
http://afasiaarq.blogspot.com/2013/0...de-meuron.html

herzog & de meuron reveal new images of M+ museum
all images courtesy of herzog & de meuron

the winning herzog & de meuron ‘M+ museum’ design, the latest addition to the west kowloon cultural district, is currently under construction (see designboom’s earlier coverage of the swiss firm’s scheme here). the in progress images reveal a further articulated program and tectonic palette; the architecture is slated to be a testament to the changing seaside region with a site comprised of reclaimed earth. while spaces will be dedicated to the showcase of art, design, architecture and the moving image, the archetypal white cube will be bolstered by reconfigurable halls–elements that will be able to be combined or divided to create small, additional rooms–which will distinguish and structure the sequence of the internal areas. integrated screening rooms and a so-called industrial space, have been conceived to grow with the programmatic complexity of the museum.

a central accretion of volumes are used to affix the institution to the post-industrial site while the airport express tunnel creates a discoverable void that characterizes interior circulation. the obstacle of the arguably synthetic, post-industrial site will be re-framed as a sunken forum that will challenge both curators and visitors alike to create and enjoy the dynamic viewership of art. the museum’s overall horizontal mass will employ a network of ‘anchor rooms’ and double-height gallery spaces pervaded with diffused daylight from strategic bands of glazing and a monumental circular cutout that visually stretches the building vertically.
























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Old October 4th, 2013, 07:21 PM   #847
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herzog & de meuron reveal new images of M+ museum

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Old October 10th, 2013, 06:06 PM   #848
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Arts team to draw in the crowds
4 October 2013
South China Morning Post

The West Kowloon Cultural District team will host an array of arts programmes over the coming six months in the hope of attracting audiences beyond the 500,000 who have attended its events in the past year.

The arts hub authority is working on attendance quantity - in the absence of a detailed plan to evaluate audiences from the perspective of quality.

It had conducted audience surveys that collected demographic profiles and opinions, said Wendy Lam Yuen-mui, the authority's head of communications and public affairs.

But a system of analysing the data was not yet in place, Lam admitted. "We have just started building such a portfolio."

Performing arts chief Louis Yu Kwok-lit cited surveys held during their Cantonese opera programme, Bamboo Theatre, in the past two years that showed it now had broader appeal - not just to dedicated fans of the artform but to a more diverse audience.

The programming for the next half a year will see the Freespace Fest of music, dance, theatre and literature return in December to a site at the West Kowloon Waterfront Promenade. Bamboo Theatre will restart on January 17 with an extended four-week run, while visual culture museum M+ will stage two exhibitions in February and March.

The West Kowloon site will also be rented out for events. The authority said the rental income from five events slated for November and December would subsidise in-house ones such as Freespace Fest.
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Old December 8th, 2013, 08:10 PM   #849
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Logistics presents poser for design contest
The Standard
Monday, November 18, 2013

The deadline for the West Kowloon Cultural District's single-stage design competition for its arts pavilion is coming up on Friday.

It aims to provide an exhibition and event space for artists, designers and organizations who plan to stage small-scale shows.

In the run-up to the completion of M+ in 2017, the pavilion will also serve as the museum's primary channel for exhibitions from 2015.

With a gross floor area of 470 square meters, a budget of HK$20 million for construction and a design fee of HK$3 million, the competition is supposedly open to all interested parties including designers, artists and any other professional.

In theory, this sounds inclusive.

In practice, it's not. Individuals or group participants must partner with a Hong Kong Institute of Architects' registered practice. The design team must include a Hong Kong authorized person, a registered structural engineer and a building services engineer.

Now, of course, if you are Zaha Hadid, this might be done with ease, but if you are a small architect, artist, designer or student, in Hong Kong or elsewhere, chances are the logistics of finding the appropriate partners is just too difficult.

First, a registered practice may apply on its own, without the need to partner, unless you have a starchitect reputation.

Second, even if you did have a mind-blowingly innovative design idea, architects have egos, or they could just adapt your design.

Third, once you find an institute-registered practice, you still need the engineers. It is possible to go through the practice, but why would they do your work for you?

Of course, there are benefits to opening a competition in this way. The project is on a tight deadline and this is the fastest route toward securing a good design that can be executed straight away, with production taking place pronto.

Thus, it would be interesting to see the breadth of the three winning entries and six commendation entries. Will the submissions be varied or limited? Will they be selected on quality or will they be selected to fit the profile of inclusiveness? We look forward to checking them out.

Architectural critic Nicholas Ho and art historian Stephanie Poon don't always see eye to eye.
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Old December 27th, 2013, 06:25 PM   #850
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Any news on plans to build a vast underground shopping district beneath the Cultural District?
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Old December 29th, 2013, 08:35 AM   #851
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunming tiger View Post
Any news on plans to build a vast underground shopping district beneath the Cultural District?
There won't be. The cultural district is a cultural district and not a shopping destination.
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Old December 29th, 2013, 11:29 AM   #852
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
There won't be. The cultural district is a cultural district and not a shopping destination.
According to a report I read online a proposal to use the vast underground space directly underneath the WKCD has already been put to the government for consideration. The reasoning being that the numbers of shoppers coming into HK after 2015 will increase dramatically and connecting such a district to the HSR terminus will do two things, first concentrate them in that area to relieve strain on the transportation networks above ground and secondly to provide a steady revenue stream to recover the cost of the WKCD. A plan for intergrated underground walkways has been drawn up.

My query was if the proposal has been approved, modified , stil under consideration or rejected. The museum U/C includes two basement levels linked to Austin MTR adjoining the China Ferry Terminal who are doing a feasibility study into turning their basement into a shopping arcade connecting the WKCD and TST areas if so the value of commercial rents there would increase a lot.

In short is there any word either way?
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Old December 29th, 2013, 11:41 AM   #853
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kunming tiger View Post
According to a report I read online a proposal to use the vast underground space directly underneath the WKCD has already been put to the government for consideration. The reasoning being that the numbers of shoppers coming into HK after 2015 will increase dramatically and connecting such a district to the HSR terminus will do two things, first concentrate them in that area to relieve strain on the transportation networks above ground and secondly to provide a steady revenue stream to recover the cost of the WKCD. A plan for intergrated underground walkways has been drawn up.

My query was if the proposal has been approved, modified , stil under consideration or rejected. The museum U/C includes two basement levels linked to Austin MTR adjoining the China Ferry Terminal who are doing a feasibility study into turning their basement into a shopping arcade connecting the WKCD and TST areas if so the value of commercial rents there would increase a lot.

In short is there any word either way?
Can you provide a link? The information I have on hand says the cultural district is not meant to have any commercial components. Underground walkways at the WKCD would not make sense as they won't link to the malls on Canton Road.
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Old December 29th, 2013, 12:12 PM   #854
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I have the proposal in the form of a PDF file but from megashare I can't post it onto this forum for you.

Last edited by kunming tiger; December 29th, 2013 at 12:26 PM.
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Old December 29th, 2013, 04:44 PM   #855
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LCQ10: Development of underground spaces
****************************************
Following is a question by the Hon Jeffrey Lam and a written reply by the Secretary for Development, Mr Paul Chan, in the Legislative Council today (July 3):

Question:

The Chief Executive has mentioned in the 2013 Policy Address that Hong Kong can examine the development of underground spaces as a source of land supply. Regarding the development of underground spaces (excluding rock caverns), will the Government inform this Council:

(a) whether the Government has commenced any feasibility study or planning work on the development of underground spaces at various selected sites; if so, of the details; if not, the reasons for that;

(b) whether the Government has made reference to the examples of developing underground spaces into pedestrianised streets, car parks and stadiums in foreign countries; whether it has assessed the types of uses of the underground spaces which are more suitable to be developed in Hong Kong; and


c) whether the Government will conduct studies on the development of underground shopping malls/business cities in those major development projects (including the West Kowloon Cultural District and the Kai Tak Development area) the works for which have not yet commenced at present?

Reply:

President,

Nowadays, the urban areas in Hong Kong have been densely developed with very limited land for new developments. The shortage in land supply has affected our competitiveness. In view of this, the Chief Executive has suggested in the 2013 Policy Address to develop underground spaces in the urban areas as one of the viable sources of land supply.

In fact, Hong Kong has been using underground spaces for public and commercial facilities for many years. However, most of them were associated with individual development projects, such as basements and car parks of shopping centres, as well as Mass Transit Railway (MTR) station development. In recent years, a relatively large scale example is the underground passage connecting the Tsim Sha Tsui and Tsim Sha Tsui East MTR stations and the surrounding shopping centres. However, in order to develop underground spaces strategically, we need to further review the relevant policies, regulations and administrative measures with a view to enhancing the use of underground space resources more systematically.

Our answers to the three parts of the question are as follows:

(a) and (b) Since the Chief Executive suggested in the 2013 Policy Address to develop underground spaces in the urban areas as a viable source of land supply, we have been actively preparing for commencing a study on "Underground Space Development in the Urban Areas" to further explore the potential of developing underground spaces in the built-up areas of Hong Kong. We have preliminarily collected and analysed some overseas and local examples of using underground spaces in the urban areas to identify the development opportunities and constraints of the relevant projects. We are now drafting the consultancy brief based on the main objectives of the study, with a view to creating more urban space for development, and enhancing connectivity of the urban areas (including new towns) through linking of existing and planned buildings and facilities with underground developments. The study will identify some representative areas for detailed assessments. We will soon conduct selection of consultants, and plan to commence the study the soonest in end 2013. Through the study, we will explore the suitable uses for further developing underground spaces in the urban areas, including commercial facilities such as shopping arcades, underground streets and car parks etc.

(c) The Government has embodied the element of enhanced use of underground spaces in the planning of the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) and the Kai Tak Development area.

The WKCD Development Plan was based on Foster + Partners' "City Park" Conceptual Plan, in which the cultural and art facilities are integrated with other facilities with a view to increasing the vibrancy of the cultural district. Taking into account the need for optimising the use of land resources, the Development Plan places the vehicular transport network of the WKCD underground.

With a flexible use of underground spaces, more above ground spaces could be made available for public enjoyment and pedestrian passage. The statutory planning procedures of the Development Plan have been completed in January this year. The approved Development Plan has incorporated the views and suggestions given by the public and the stakeholders in the public engagement exercise.

As regards the Kai Tak Development area, in order to enhance the community and cultural linkage with the nearby areas, the Government has proposed to develop two Underground Shopping Streets in the "Kai Tak Outline Zoning Plan" to connect Kowloon City and San Po Kong with the Kai Tak Station of the Shatin to Central Link under construction with a view to enhancing the integration of the new and the old districts. The Underground Shopping Streets are at the planning stage and the implementation mechanism needs to be further studied.


Ends/Wednesday, July 3, 2013
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Old December 29th, 2013, 04:57 PM   #856
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Answer to (c) made no mention of any commercial spaces under WKCD.
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Old December 29th, 2013, 05:08 PM   #857
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2.2: Invest HK$10bn in a 2m sf “Sub-
Culture” underground mall in the
West Kowloon Cultural District to
(1) enhance TST’s retail quantum
and range of experience as a global
shoppers’ paradise and (2) generate
recurrent income to support the
development of arts and culture in
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is bursting at
the seams with tourists and
shopper

The theme of Hong Kong “bursting at the seams” in the Golden
5 Years cannot be clearer than when one stands in the middle
of Tsimshatsui (TST), a global shoppers’ paradise with its main
streets reportedly grossing more sales than London’s Oxford
Street/Tottenham Court Road and New York’s Fifth Avenue. With
no new space in the pipeline, ever-rising rents and ticket prices,
packed shops, overflowing pavements and jammed streets will
conspire to chase customers away from Hong Kong.

We need to extend our edge as a shopping destination by
adding capacity and capabilities to our city’s favourite retail
district without delay, or else the extra patronage from the
opening of the Express Rail Link in 2015 which will put 30m+
population from the affluent Guangdong cities of Guangzhou,
Dongguan and Shenzhen within 48 minutes’ reach of the TST
terminus, together with the “trend” growth of visitor arrivals, will
crowd out the joys of shopping and eating in the World City of
Hong Kong. We support Dr. Cheung Kwok Pun’s concept of
subterranean space in our district and propose adding square
footage and service offerings in TST with a 2m sf underground
mall, provisionally named “Sub-Culture”. Sub-Culture’s 1m sf first
phase should open in 2017, its 0.5m sf second phase in 2019
and its 0.5m sf final phase in 2021.
Providing real and powerful support to the development
of art and culture enjoyment in Hong Kong, Sub-Culture
should produce net profit of some HK$1bn in its first full year
of complete operation. This income amounts to 35% of the
spending on arts and culture by the Home Affairs Bureau in2011/12.

To preserve and add to Hong
Kong’s reputation as shoppers’
paradise, we must add square
footage and service offerings
in TST – a 2m sf underground
mall, provisionally named “Sub-
Culture” can be a highly useful
solution
Annual net profit from Sub-
Culture can add some 35% to
spending on arts and culture

What are we investing in?
- A 2m sf art-infused and culture-themed mall with 600+ shops
and eateries under the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD)
which we have provisionally named, “Sub-Culture”.
- The financial parameters: If considered as a standalone
and un-levered (ie all equity financed) project, the HK$10bn
investment should produce a Net Present Value (NPV) of
HK$11bn and achieve a full payback within eight years of full
opening. The latter compares with payback periods of 36+
and 40-50 years for the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge
and Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link,
respectively.

Sub-Culture will produce
Net Present Value north of
HK$11bn and a full payback
within eight years of full
opening

In the project’s first full-year’s operation upon completion of
the entire project, a net profit of some HK$1bn should arise,
implying a 10% return on total investment of HK$10bn. To
better appreciate why the financial attributes of Sub-Culture
are so favourable, it is worth remembering that the cost of
land normally accounts for 70-80% of the total development
cost of a property project in Hong Kong. As the government
already owns the land the main investment it needs making is
the construction cost of around HK$4,000psf.
- The absence of a hefty upfront cost for land has also greatly
lessened the sensitivity of its time-adjusted cash value to
the rate of discount. Hence, Sub-Culture carries a very high
Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of 11%. In other words, the
discount rate one has to adopt in order to nullify the project’s
NPV is 11%. This means that the lower one’s cost of fund,
the higher will the project’s NPV. As comparison, the yield on
US 10-year treasuries is around 2% and in our computation,
we have adopted the discount rate of 4% as adopted by the
government for the Guangzhou-Shenzhen-HK Express Rail
Link which will situate next to Sub-Culture.
- The externalities: While there is no “magic formula” that
guarantees success of any new undertaking, with 8m sf of
space for performance and art appreciation above ground
in WKCD, the 2m sf of retail area that lies below it does not
appear excessive, especially when Hong Kong can easily
absorb the additional capacity with the rising number of
customers to our services. Just as Broadway in New York
City is supported by shops and restaurants within walking
distance, the pairing of the heart/vision/hearing Vs mind with
stomach/eye/tactile experience of shopping may yet prove to
be as enjoyable as good food and wine.

Also, it should not take much to realize the possibility that
what starts out as a shopping expedition for many in Sub-
Culture may lead to a lifetime love affair with the arts when
shoppers experiment with attending an exhibition or a
performance above ground in WKCD.
- The ownership structure: While making little or no difference
to operations, the financing and ownership of Sub-Culture
can be put under the government’s Home Affairs Bureau
or the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA).
Legislation to set aside the funding is needed to be approved
by the Legislative Council in either of the cases. There are
pros and cons as to the level of private sector participation
in the scheme but this decision can be delayed till the
project is completed. Given the significant surpluses in our
public coffers and the low returns they tend to generate, an
investment in Sub-Culture should offer superior risk-adjusted
returns.
- The operational arrangement: There is no shortage of capable
designers, builders and operators of great shopping centres
around the world that can bring Sub-Culture to fruition.
Through an open and fair process of competition and tenders,
the right mix of expertise can be brought together speedily.
B. Why should we invest in Sub-Culture?
We believe there are two major reasons supporting the
proposal of investing in Sub-Culture:
1. Reinforce TST’s prominent position as a shoppers’
paradise and capitalise on the traffic brought by the
HK$62bn Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express
Rail Link which should open in 2015. (for a more detailed
Improve the quality and range of services offered by
the HK$22bn WKCD by attracting more traffic and
providing complementary enjoyment to patrons of art and
performances. Generate recurrent income to support the
provision of arts and cultural activities. (for a more detailed
discussion please read on)
1. Reinforce TST’s prominent position as a shoppers’
paradise and capitalise on the traffic brought by the HK$62bn
Guangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail Link
As we have discussed earlier in section 2, Hong Kong is suffering
from acute shortage of retail space, resulting in displacement of
traditional retail offerings and soaring rentals which translate to
general inflation.
Hong Kong’s excellent service quality is highly appealing to
tourists, yet the city is heavily constrained in retail space and
this is especially true in urban areas. Canton Road, for instance,
contributes 10% of Hong Kong total retail sales but only accounts
for 2-3% of Hong Kong total shop spaces.
For instance, Canton Road
contributes 10% of Hong
Kong total retail sales but only
accounts for 2-3% of total shop
spaces
To safeguard the competitiveness of Hong Kong’s flagship
shopping district, we need to bulk up the spaces devoted to
both tourists and local shopping needs and widen the range
of service experience available. In the past few years, many
retail offerings that support day-to-day needs of Hong Kong
citizens (for instance, traditional restaurants, fast food shops
and pharmacies) have been displaced by watch and jewellery
and fashion outlets, many of which now dominate Canton Road
and half of Queen’s Road, Central. According to the Rating and
Valuation Department, average high-street retail rentals of Mong
Kok, Tsim Sha Tsui and Causeway Bay increased 20-30% in
2010 and 30%+ in 2011.
Once the Express Rail Link is completed, an additional
50,000 traffic will arrive per day in the TST area, potentially
adding significantly to demand for shopping facilities
Once the Express Rail Link comes into operation in late 2015,
30m+ population of from the affluent Guangdong cities of
Guangzhou, Dongguan and Shenzhen will only be a mere
48-minute train ride away from Hong Kong, a shorter travel time
than the ferry ride from Hong Kong to Macau. In fact, the MTR
Corporation forecasts that by the first full year of operation, in
2016, 99,000 passengers will travel between Hong Kong and
mainland (both ways) by the Express Rail every day, i.e. around
50,000 passengers arrive at Hong Kong every day.
With Express Rail Link bringing some 50,000 arrivals every day,
this traffic will add a significant burden to the foot traffic passing
through the major malls in the TST area today: 150,000 at
Harbour City and 100,000 at The Elements. In the next four years
and before the Express Rail Link is opened, it is expected that
arrivals at TST will grow at a compound rate of 10-15% a year,
adding 50-80% to current flows. Let us not forget that the 50,000
Express Rail Link daily arrivals has not included the traffic drawn
by WKCD, which could number 11,000 visitors per day according
to the economic assessment conducted by the Financial
Secretary’s Office in 2007. These traffic numbers serve as a highlevel
indication that an additional mall in the TST area is justified.
If nothing is started today, there may be a need to pedestrianise
Canton Road within a few years.

Improve the quality and range of services offered
by the HK$22bn WKCD by attracting more traffic and
providing complementary enjoyment to patrons of art and
performances
WKCD, at least in its early stages of operation, can rely on other
facilities such as retail to help drive traffic
WKCD is the first large-scale art and cultural complex Hong Kong
has ever planned and built, a right step for Hong Kong aspiring
to be the next World City after London and New York.
An inconvenient truth is that most local arts and culture groups
are not financially self-sustainable. Taking the example of the
most heavily-subsidised “Big Nine” performing art groups
(namely the Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra (HKCO), the Hong
Kong Dance Company (HKDC), the Hong Kong Repertory
Theatre (HKREP), the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra
(HKPO), the Hong Kong Sinfonietta (HKSIN), the Hong Kong
Ballet (HK Ballet), City Contemporary Dance Company (CCDC),
Chung Ying Theatre Company and Zuni Icosahedron (Zuni)),
ticket sales can only generate an average of <40% to cover their
operating expenses. One cause for the low profitability is Hong
Kong people’s lack of demonstrated interest in cultural activities.
For instance,while 63% of Londoners and 33% of Singaporeans
have seen a performance in the past 12 months, only 21% of
Hong Kong citizens have done so. Therefore, other attractions,
including retail, are helpful in generating traffic.
In fact, more and more cultural facilities around the world have
started to co-locate with commercial offerings such as retail to
drive patronage. A famous example is the Mori Art Museum,
a contemporary art museum on the 53rd floor of the 54-level
high Mori Tower in the Roppongi Hills area in Tokyo, Japan.
The museum, despite having no permanent exhibitions of
international acclaim, still attracts 1.5m traffic per year (the
24th most popular art museum in the world according to the
Art Newspaper) - mostly leveraging the traffic to the sky-deck
observatory and the 0.48m sf shopping mall at the Roppongi
Hills.
The operational surplus from the extra mall can help finance
capital shortage and subsidise more arts and cultural
activities
As construction costs have risen 60% since the approval of the
HK$21.6bn endowment to WKCDA in 2008, it is widely reported
that the authority is in short of cash to finance the construction
of all its originally planned arts and cultural facilities. The
government should take advantage of the effort in assessing
Sub-Culture to bring all costings of WKCD up to date and allow
for extra costs in connecting the two facilities. With inflation not
expected to abate anytime soon, the biggest disservice to Hong
Kong is to procrastinate while costs escalate and art and tourist
opportunities evaporate.
From WKCDA’s latest Development Plan, it seems that
the authority is planning to seek public-private partnership
opportunities to help fund the construction and operation of
certain facilities such as the Mega Performance Venue, yet
whether this arrangement is commercially viable remains
uncertain. However, Hong Kong people have already waited for
13 years since these facilities were promised back in 1998 and
WKCD remains a barren piece of land. Therefore, we believe a
possible way for WKCDA to overcome its financial burden is to
obtain extra funding to complete its facilities as soon as possible
and the government can rely on future incomes it derives from
Sub-Culture to make good possible future shortfalls in WKCDA.
Proposal
We propose building a 2m sf 600+-shop underground mall,
Sub-Culture, in WKCD to cater for visitors and residents in TST
as well as potential traffic brought by the Express Rail Link. The
mall is comparable in size and number of shops as Harbour City
(2m sf, 700+ shops), compared with the nearby The Elements
which houses 220 shops in 1m sf of space. It should be noted
that when The Elements opened for business, it added 1m sf or50%, to the mall supply of Harbour City in a soft market and the
subsequent prospering of both has illustrated the significant size
of demand for shop space in the district, even before there was
suggestion that a HK$62bn Express Link with Guangzhou would
land in the middle of this market. Sub-Culture should provide,
in addition to range of goods and services offered by shopping
centres, spaces for galleries, auction houses and other art and
design-related businesses. Unlike the arrival of The Elements,
Sub-Culture’s first phase of 1m sf in 2017 will only add 33% to
the combined spaces of The Elements and Harbour City and in
market conditions that will likely exceed the current ebullience
as it opens one year after the opening of the Express Link. The
addition of the two tranches of 0.5m sf of spaces will open with a
two-year gap with the earlier phase, providing the flexibility to put
right any problems with footfall and design before more capacity
is introduced.
114
Mode of operation
The government or a public body should start the project and
only consider its longer term future after running the completed
projects for a few years. The subject property is a shopping
centre and this requires top professional advice which does not
come likely arise from public consultation.
Estimated construction timeframe
9 years
Estimated investment
HK$10bn
Estimated payback period
8 years (after full opening in 2021)
Net present value
HK$11.1bn
(Timeframe: 30 years, 2012-2041; nominal discount rate: 4%)
Internal rate of return
10.9%
(Timeframe: 30 years, 2012-2041)
5. Assumptions
1. Nominal Discount Rate = 4%
Benchmarks: 4% (Guangzhou-Shenzhen-HK Express Rail
Link)
5.3% (HK-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge)
6.1% (WKCD)
2. Inflation = 5% (2012-2014), 3% (2015-2032)
Benchmarks: (HK Census & Stat. Dept.) 5% (2011)
3% (2008-2011)
2% (2004-2011)
3. Escalations of costs: 5%
4. Capital Expenditure Phasing: 2-1-1-1-1-1-1-1-1
5. Financial Model Timeframe: 30 years (2012-2041)
6. Estimated Rent Growth (Yoy)
7. Practicality
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Old December 29th, 2013, 05:16 PM   #858
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hkskyline View Post
Answer to (c) made no mention of any commercial spaces under WKCD.
I believe that's because a decision one way or the other on commerical space under WKCD has yet to be taken. It's under consideration but I do know they have been studying similar underground commercial districts in other countries.

" Where there is smoke there is fire"
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Old January 29th, 2014, 12:01 PM   #859
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West Kowloon Cultural District of Hong Kong selects architects to design arts pavilion

A team of VPANG architects, JET Architecture and Lisa Cheung has been selected to design the arts pavilion in Hong Kong's West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD).

The winning team will work with the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) to design and deliver an exhibition and event space for artists, designers and several organisations in the park at WKCD. (Source:)
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Old February 5th, 2014, 03:13 PM   #860
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Kowloon by BarracudaPhotography, on Flickr
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