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And Now For A Bit of Culture.

A Visit to West Kowloon Cultural District.

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Today I finally made it to West Kowloon Cultural District. I've been interested in visiting here for a while, but have always thought it was still largely a construction site. Actually parts of it still are, but there's enough of this area finished nowadays to justify a visit.

The idea for the West Kowloon Cultural District originated in 1996 when the Hong Kong Tourist Board conducted a survey of tourists and discovered that they claimed they found Hong Kong lacking in cultural sites. In 1998 the then chief executive, Tung Chee-hwa, proposed remedying this with the establishment of the West Kowloon Cultural District. His idea was approved, but there followed a series of setbacks and delays. The first phase of the district finally opened in 2015 and the second phase is expected to be completed in 2026.

To get to the West Kowloon Cultural District I took the MTR to Kowloon Station and headed towards exit E. The first building I saw upon exiting was the International Commerce Centre (ICC), which at 108 stories and measuring 484 metres, is the tallest building in Hong Kong and the twelfth tallest building in the world.

The International Commerce Centre.

The International Commerce Centre.

I then followed the signs to the West Kowloon Cultural District and arrived near the Freespace Building, which is a new centre for contemporary arts performances. On the way I passed a wall covered with hard hats indicating that construction was definitely still on-going.

Construction definitely continues.

Construction definitely continues.

The Freespace Building.

The Freespace Building.

The Freespace Building.

The Freespace Building.

Mural outside the Freespace Building.

Mural outside the Freespace Building.

Mural outside the Freespace Building.

Mural outside the Freespace Building.

Mural outside the Freespace Building.

Mural outside the Freespace Building.

Mural outside the Freespace Building.

Mural outside the Freespace Building.

After looking at the Freespace Building, I walked to the M+ Building, which is a museum of visual culture set to open on the 12th of November this year. Apparently this museum Intends to rival the Tate Modern in London, the MoMA in New York and the Centre Pompidou in Paris in terms of the breadth and importance of its collections. Only the museum's shop and cafe are open at the moment, but I photographed its shape, bamboo-like walls, hanging lights and reflecting doors. There was also a lovely harbour side cafe here.

M  Building.

M+ Building.

M  Building.

M+ Building.

Front of the M  Building.

Front of the M+ Building.

Detail of the M  Building.

Detail of the M+ Building.

Reflections in the M  Arts Centre Window, West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong.

Reflections in the M+ Arts Centre Window, West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong.

Lights and Reflections M  Building.

Lights and Reflections M+ Building.

Lights M  Building.

Lights M+ Building.

Lights M  Building.

Lights M+ Building.

Flowers outside M  Building.

Flowers outside M+ Building.

Cafe by the harbour.

Cafe by the harbour.

Cafe by the harbour.

Cafe by the harbour.

Next I walked along the harbour front enjoying the views. It was a bit overcast, but the scenery was still lovely. There's a walkway along the waterfront with a lawn on one side and many people bring their tents and spend the day here at the weekends.

Harbour View.

Harbour View.

Harbour view.

Harbour view.

Harbour view.

Harbour view.

Harbour view.

Harbour view.

Harbour View.

Harbour View.

Harbour View

Harbour View

Taking selfies by the waterfront.

Taking selfies by the waterfront.

Pitch your tent and enjoy a day by the waterfront.

Pitch your tent and enjoy a day by the waterfront.

I liked this building.

I liked this building.

Along the harbour front there was an exhibition called 'Friends With You' featuring large colourful characters to take photos with.

'Friends With You'.

'Friends With You'.

'Friends With You'.

'Friends With You'.

'Friends With You'.

'Friends With You'.

'Friends With You'.

'Friends With You'.

'Friends With You'.

'Friends With You'.

Overlooking 'Friends With You' plus harbour view.

Overlooking 'Friends With You' plus harbour view.

Overlooking 'Friends With You' plus harbour view.

Overlooking 'Friends With You' plus harbour view.

I then walked along the waterfront in the direction of the Palace Museum. On the way there is a large green expanse of lawn and more beautiful harbour views.

Harbour Walkway.

Harbour Walkway.

Harbour Walkway.

Harbour Walkway.

On the Waterfront.

On the Waterfront.

View Across the Lawn.

View Across the Lawn.

The Palace Museum is still under construction and should, hopefully, be completed by July 1st 2022. It will exhibit artefacts from Beijing's Palace Museum. This building has been designed to look like the buildings in the forbidden city in Beijing.

The Palace Museum.

The Palace Museum.

The Palace Museum.

The Palace Museum.

The Palace Museum.

The Palace Museum.

Just past the Palace Museum is the Competition Pavilion. This was the winning design of a Hong Kong Architects and Designers Competition held in 2017. It was designed by Paul Tse and Evelyn Ting of New Office Works and is called “Growing Up.” I have seen pictures of it and was not that impressed, but I found it much more beautiful in reality than in the photos. It was one of my two favourite places I visited that day.

The Palace Museum and Pavilion.

The Palace Museum and Pavilion.

The Art Pavilion.

The Art Pavilion.

The Art Pavilion.

The Art Pavilion.

The Art Pavilion.

The Art Pavilion.

The Art Pavilion.

The Art Pavilion.

The Art Pavilion.

The Art Pavilion.

After the pavilion I continued along the waterfront a short way for views over Jordan and towards Yau Ma Tei Typhoon Shelter. There were lots of ferries around here.

Waterfront near Jordan and Yau Ma Tei.

Waterfront near Jordan and Yau Ma Tei.

After this I wanted to visit the Xiqu Centre which stages Chinese operas. To get there I had to go out of the West Kowloon Cultural District and walk along the edge of a major road. Although these areas will eventually be connected, at the moment there is a large construction site between them.

The Xiqu Centre is a really beautiful building and together with the Competition Pavilion was my favourite part of the cultural district. One site I looked at described it as shaped like a Chinese lantern; another claimed it's meant to look like the curtains that can be found on a stage. Inside there is a Grand Theatre, a Tea House Theatre, eight studios, a seminar hall, restaurants, a gift shop and a large public atrium. The outer walls of this building are beuautiful and make wonderful patterns when you photograph them.

Xiqu Centre Sign.

Xiqu Centre Sign.

The Exterior of the Xiqu Centre.

The Exterior of the Xiqu Centre.

The Exterior of the Xiqu Centre.

The Exterior of the Xiqu Centre.

Inside the Xiqu Centre.

Inside the Xiqu Centre.

Inside the Xiqu Centre.

Inside the Xiqu Centre.

Looking out from inside the Xiqu Building.

Looking out from inside the Xiqu Building.

Looking out from inside the Xiqu Building.

Looking out from inside the Xiqu Building.

Looking out from inside the Xiqu Building.

Looking out from inside the Xiqu Building.

Tea Shop Inside the Xiqu Centre.

Tea Shop Inside the Xiqu Centre.

Gift Shop inside the Xiqu Centre.

Gift Shop inside the Xiqu Centre.

Chinese Opera Posters.

Chinese Opera Posters.

Chinese Opera Posters.

Chinese Opera Posters.

Chinese Opera Poster.

Chinese Opera Poster.

Chinese restaurant.

Chinese restaurant.

Chinese restaurant.

Chinese restaurant.

Beautiful Walls of the Xiqu Centre.

Beautiful Walls of the Xiqu Centre.

Beautiful Walls of the Xiqu Centre.

Beautiful Walls of the Xiqu Centre.

Finally, I walked to the nearby Kowloon High Speed Rail Terminal from where it is possible to catch trains to Mainland China. This is also a very beautiful example of modern architecture. This building has a massive glass curtain wall made up of over four thousand irregularly shaped glass panels and its elegant curved ceiling is made of over eight thousand tonnes of steel. Its sloping rooftop is covered with beautiful flowers and greenery. It is possible to climb up to a viewing point from which you can look out over the harbour or enjoy a view over Kowloon. at the moment the harbour view looks out over a construction site.

elegant Curving Facade of station.

elegant Curving Facade of station.

Kowloon High speed Rail Station Side View.

Kowloon High speed Rail Station Side View.

More Views of the Station

More Views of the Station

More Views of the Station.

More Views of the Station.

Rooftop Garden.

Rooftop Garden.

Flowers in the rooftop garden.

Flowers in the rooftop garden.

To the Viewing Point at the West Kowloon High Speed Rail Station.

To the Viewing Point at the West Kowloon High Speed Rail Station.

At the Viewing Point.

At the Viewing Point.

Looking over Kowloon from the Viewing Point.

Looking over Kowloon from the Viewing Point.

Looking at the Xiqu Building from the View Point.

Looking at the Xiqu Building from the View Point.

Harbour View.

Harbour View.

By this time I had had too much sun, so I headed back to the MTR which was next to the Elements shopping centre and a tall building called The Arches. Then I took the train and a bus back home.

Arches Building near the MTR.

Arches Building near the MTR.

Posted by irenevt 07:49 Archived in Hong Kong

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Comments

Hi Irene , i don't usually like new buildings, but there's lovely detail on these. Great pictures. Alec

by alectrevor

Hi Alec, I'm the same. I find a lot of modern architecture boring, but the station and the xiqu building were really beautiful. Lovely flowing shapes and lots of details. All the best, Irene

by irenevt

I bet the kids love "Friends with you"! :)

by hennaonthetrek

Hi Henna, yes it seemed popular with with kids and those that like taking selfies. Hope all good with you.

by irenevt

I like the interiors of these buildings...and the fungi!

Ciao!

by Maurizioagos

Hi Maurzio, Hope all well with you. Thank you for visiting.

by irenevt

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