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Conceptual Plan for West Kowloon Cultural District (c) Foster + Partner; Conceptual Plan for West Kowloon Cultural District (c) Foster + Partner;

West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong

A strategic project to drive Hong Kong’s creative economy

Located at the southern tip of the West Kowloon Reclamation Area, the 40ha West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) will be developed into an integrated arts and cultural hub with world-class facilities and iconic architecture for residents and tourists. 

The project of strategic importance will support Hong Kong’s development as a creative economy and global metropolis. It is a major initiative to foster organic growth of local cultural and creative industries, attract and nurture talents, promote international exchange and co-operation, enhance the quality of living and make Hong Kong the cultural gateway to the Pearl River Delta. 

The district will include 17 new visual culture and performing arts facilities, open spaces, education, commercial and retail facilities. There will also be retail, dining and entertainment facilities along with residential, hotel and office developments.

Project Summary


40hectares waterfront site development

17 new visual culture and performing arts facilities

Arup has been involved in the project since 2010, providing a wide range of engineering services ranging from conceptual plan to the district cooling system (DCS), district-wide extra low voltage (ELV) systems, fire strategy, and mechanical engineeringelectrical engineering and public health engineering for the basement.

The large-scale project will be developed in phases with the first batch of facilities to be completed in 2015 and the last in 2035.

Conceptual plan

In July 2010, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority appointed three architects to prepare a conceptual plan for the mega development, and Arup was appointed by all these three architects to provide the engineering input. Our input included preparing the technical reports for highways, infrastructure, marine, sustainability, drainage and sewerage, water supply and other utilities and environment.

In March 2011, Foster + Partners’ scheme ‘City Park’ was chosen for the development; and Arup has then been working with various consultants to refine the design.

District cooling system (DCS)

Arup’s building sustainability group is now undertaking the Stage 1 implementation and scheme design of the DCS for the WKCD to ensure its technical and financial feasibility. Building information modelling is adopted to develop the scheme design and reveal the potential and actual discrepancies in plantroom planning and spatial co-ordination in multi-disciplinary designs.

We are also working closely with the basement design team for the spatial requirements, routing penetration and services interface in different development phases throughout the basement development.

District-wide ELV Systems Strategy for West Kowloon Cultural District ©West Kowloon Cultural District Authority District-wide ELV Systems Strategy for West Kowloon Cultural District ©West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

District-wide ELV systems

Arup is developing the strategic direction and technical design for the ELV systems to be deployed throughout the district. The systems range from building management, surveillance, security, public address, distributed outdoor lighting control, broadcast reception installation, radio communications and car park control and management to the two Central Control Centres for operating the whole district.

This necessitates careful consideration of the project’s district-wide nature, integration of different phases of development as well as operational and maintenance requirements of different buildings and occupants.

Basement MEP

Arup worked closely with the architects to develop a MEP scheme design for the basement which comprises a main carriageway and communal areas including loading/unloading areas and car parking spaces, with infrastructure facilities for integration with the topside developments. Arup also handled the notional MEP design of all the topside developments including five theatrical and museums venues, and 17 mixed-use buildings offering hotel, office, residential and retail spaces.

Fire strategy

Our fire engineers are developing a fire safety for the entire site, which needs to address all the fire safety issues in the basement carpark, the public carriage of approximate 1.1km long and associated facilities at basement and the podium deck with engineering calculations and analysis. Key design issues include excessive length and compartment size of public transport network underground, crowd management of thoroughfares to address a scenario of simultaneous discharge from numbers of theaters, and inadequate smoke vents for basement. A District-wide Fire Safety Strategy will be prepared and submitted to relevant government authorities for consideration and approval.