K11 Art and Cultural Center / SO-IL
Photos: Kevin Mack, Chris Provoost
Description of the text provided by the architects. The architecture of the museum, designed at the same time, began construction on Victoria Dockside, is driven by the challenges of its unique setting: it is above a K11 Art Mall and below a dozen floors of luxury residences by the sea. The museum combines the two upper floors of the podium, originally designed for retail and other food and beverage, with a generous roof-sculpted terrace set against the magnificent Hong Kong skyline.
Although glass is considered a fairly conventional building material, it plays a significant role in our unconventional response to the project context: a museum located in a mixed environment and adjacent to commercial spaces.
Museums are usually closed volumes that avoid involvement in their often hyper-urban environment. Our design simply embraces transparency to involve the museum in its commercial space of the city.
The floating museum is surrounded by a facade of 475 glass tubes, each nine meters high and one meter in diameter and weighing two tons. From the street, the sculptural monumentality and the visual distortion of the glass create an abstraction that distinguishes the museum from its dense urban context. Up close, the glass clarifies the contents of the visitors and introduces playful matrices of reflection and light. Oversized transparency gives visitors respite when they arrive from the hustle and bustle below.