British architect shortlisted to design Hong Kong’s opera centre in new cultural district

British architect firm Foster and Partners has been shortlisted to design Hong Kong’s first Chinese opera centre in its developing cultural district, which is expected to open in 2015.

Foster and Partners has teamed up with Hong Kong-based O Studio Architects and is one of five international architect teams that will submit plans to design the Xiqu Centre.

The centre will be the first of 17 core arts and cultural venues in the West Kowloon Cultural District and will comprise a 1,100-seat theatre, a secondary 400-seat theatre, a tea house performing area that will seat up to 280 people and training and education space.

Executive director of performing arts at WKCD Louis Yu said: “There has been a fantastic response to our plans for the Xiqu Centre from design teams from across the world. We are working hard to find the right team to work with to fulfill our ambitions. The shortlisted teams will meet with representatives of the Chinese opera artform, engaging with stakeholders so we can conceive together a world-class building for Hong Kong and for the development and promotion of this important form of Chinese cultural heritage.”

The shortlisted design teams have been asked to submit their plans by October 2012.

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The Orange Tree Theatre in Richmond, London. Photo: Noel Foster