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Hong Kong welcomes architectural, design talents and input from US and worldwide (with photo)

     Hong Kong is continuing to embark on large-scale development and redevelopment projects that will require architectural and design talents and input from all over the world including the United States, Director of Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office, New York (HKETONY), Miss Anita Chan said at a Hong Kong architectural exhibition opening ceremony.

     Speaking at the Reception of "Hong Kong at 15: Redefining the Public Realm" exhibition at The Centre for Architecture in New York on December 10 (New York time), Miss Chan cited the Kowloon East District and West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) development projects as examples that the 300-strong audience who are mostly prominent architects and designers should keep in their radar screens.

     Kowloon East includes the old Kai Tak Airport and the surrounding Kwun Tong and Kowloon Bay which are formerly industrial areas. The total land area is close to 488 hectares. "Our plan is to revitalize Kowloon East and redevelop it into a second central business district. We will also preserve at least 30 per cent of the land as greenery and public space, especially along the waterfront. The rest will be for commercial complexes, hotels, and residential buildings," she said.

     On the WKCD, Miss Chan told the reception guests that it will become one of the largest arts and cultural projects in the world, spanning 40 hectares on the waterfront in Kowloon. It will include 23 hectares of open green space, resembling a mini Central Park, and 17 core arts and cultural venues.

     Miss Chan also noted the importance of sustainability in the development. "The Chief Executive has made clear that more land will be made available for building residential and commercial buildings in the years ahead. Alongside with developments, what we want are sustainable designs that would reduce the urban heat-island effect, improve air quality, and provide good storm water management systems as well as a pleasing visual effect."

     "Architects and designers in the US are certainly most welcome to participate in our plan to make Hong Kong even more attractive and livable as it continues to grow," she added.

     The exhibition was organised by the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) and supported by the HKETONY as part of the programmes to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region.

     Curated by Mr Jonathan D Solomon, Associate Dean, School of Architecture, Syracuse University, the exhibition from December 10 to January 23, 2013 features three selected architectural projects designed by New York architects and built in Hong Kong since 1997: the International Finance Centre (IFC) by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects; the Asia Society by Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects; and Hysan Place by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF).

     Acclaimed and award-winning architects Cesar Pelli, FAIA, along with Tod Williams, FAIA, and William Louie, FAIA all gave remarks about their buildings at the opening reception.

     The exhibition also features commissioned photography by Mr Chan Yiu Hung (Ah Hung), the notable founder of the Hong Kong Cultural Imaging Workshop, who situates these buildings in their unique physical and historical contexts and illuminates the evolving Hong Kong skyline.

     AIANY's Global Dialogues Committee also organised a panel discussion after the reception that brought together 200 architects here in New York with over 100 architects from Hong Kong. Mr Fred Clarke, FAIA; Mr Tod Williams, FAIA; Ms Billie Tsien, AIA; and Mr Robert Whitlock, AIA took part in a live and interactive discussion with Dr Peter Cookson Smith, Hon. AIA, President, Hong Kong Institute of Planners; and Mr Dominic Lam, FHKIA, President, Hong Kong Institute of Architects, among others via live feed and moderated by Mr Clifford Pearson, Deputy Editor of Architectural Record. Members of AIA Michigan and AIA Grand Rapids also took part in the conversation via simulcast facilities.

Ends/Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Issued at HKT 01:26


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