model of ‘cultural connect’ by rocco designall images courtesy of rocco design architects




rocco design are one of three finalists who have unveiled their plan for the west kowloon cultural district competing against OMA and foster + partners. their plan ‘cultural connect’ is centred around multiple connectivity. WKCD breaks the isolation by pedestrian, tram, rail, vehicular, bicycle and ferry links to and from different directions. two footbridges above austin road connect with the elements and kowloon station. visitors from the XRL station are greeted by the m+ forecourt, from where they disperse into the streets and alleys of WKCD. towards the eastern end of the district edged upon canton road, a network of pedestrian decks draw visitors from yaumatei, jordon, kowloon park and tsim sha tsui into the district.


the district is also well-served by multiple public transportation systems including buses, taxis, ferries, the XRL, the airport express and MTR. hopping onto a tram that runs from the star ferry pier to the district along canton road would be a pleasant alternative. in addition, water taxis bring visitors from tsim sha tsui, north point, central and wanchai directly to the heart of WKCD. WKCD is also conveniently plugged into the public road network. multiple vehicular access points are provided along the northern edge on austin road and number 3 expressway. major drop-off points and parking facilities are conveniently located for all venues. cycling is encouraged in WKCD with dedicated cycle track and cycles racks along the promenade. the track is intended to be connected beyond wkcd to link up with a city-wide network in the future.

rocco design: cultural connect





cultural facilities public creatives = public art + public design + public event + public engagement ‘public creatives’ is an initiative within an overall cultural framework. the initiative aims to foster opportunities for showcasing our local artistic talents, complements audience-building and supports art education. synergizing the artistic, functional and commercial potentials of our visual art and creative industries, it brings together public art, public design and public event through various forms of direct public engagement. ‘public creatives’ and WKCD are reciprocally beneficial to each other – WKCD becomes the stage for local artists while their works enrich the qualities of the urban spaces in the district.


master layout plan the master plan is organised in 3 layers from the city (north) to the harbour (south), namely: the city link, the cultural cover and the green terrain. in the city link, working from east (conton road) to west, there are one block for workspaces, a residential block, the headquarters for art organisation or international cultural institutes, four more blocks for residential, a hotel block in front of the theatre square. across the west cross harbour tunnel, next to the typhoon shelter is another hotel, and then four more residential blocks in a row marking the boundary of WKCD.


in the cultural core, working from east (canton road) to west, there is the xiqu centre with the xiqu square to its south. further to the west, there is a medium-sized theatre, then the humanities centre, black box theatre, m+ and the central square. to the north of the central square the m+ forecount lays adjacent to the xrl plaza. to the south is the music forecourt. to the west of the central square is the concert hall/chamber music hall. two black box theatres are further to the west. the great theatre 1 and the theatre complex embracing the theater square are located in front of the ICC. the children’s museum and the community art college are further west bordering onto the harbour park. the mega performance venue is located at the western end, marking the end of the park.


in the green terrain, from east to west are the rde with their accessible roof garden, the exhibition centre, the promenade and the filtration garden, then the music forecourt. a pier in the form of pontoon is reached from the music forecourt via a draw bridge. more pontoons are on the water-edge for exhibitions, installations and performances. theatre steps are located to the south of the theatre square. along the promenade further to the west is the market place. before reaching the market place, a swimming pool is floating in the harbour next to a slipway. form the market place, the great theatre is on the harbour front with a pier for water taxi to its west.


embracing the great theatre on three sides is the harbour park. to the northern end of the harbour park, the landscaped roof of the mega performance venue is turned into a public forum-the banyan forum, with a suspended bridge-walkover the harbour. 

rocco design: cultural connect




retail and dining street-based retail shops energise the public realm with trades and festivities. diverse dining outlets enjoy scenic harbour views and offerunique dining-performance ambience.


culture and entertainment alongside with the shops and restaurants are a series cultural/entertainment venues: pop culture centre, martial art centre, video/animation centre, culinary school…


city life a 24-hour district for all people at all times with allkinds of activities. artists and creative entrepreneurs are encouraged to work and live in the district.


3d public space like a scroll, it entices one to explore and to discover; does not solely glorify icons, but also celebrates streets/squares/gardens embedded in the urban fabric. it includes: theatre steps, banyan forum, a suspended footbridge, a harbour park, a plaza for a black box theatre, tramway, music forecourt, xiqu square, art-venue, alley, the promenade and market place.

rocco design: cultural connect

rocco design: cultural connect

rocco design: cultural connect




green living and urban ecology an ecology of utilization of renewable energy, reduction of resources consumption and adoption of water and waste recycling.


urban oasis over 40% of the site is designed as green space and green roofs to reduce urban heat island effect.


urban comfort extensive greenery, traditional colonnades and arcades, and the innovativeenvironmental shade are all integrated to have a pleasant environment.

rocco design: cultural connect





rocco design states: our hope…synergy between cultural facilities and policies cultural facilities and cultural policies are mutually dependent. our design philosophy of cultural-connect is conceived to address four major aspects of our cultural vision for WKCD. the physical proposals are an embodiment of functional adaptability, programmatic feasibility and design practicality. education is the foundation of culture. different educational facilities are proposed at different locations within the plan, such as children’s museum, m+ resources and education programmes, community art college, practice facilities of xiqu centre, artists-in-residence programmes. our strategy aims to create a framework that caters for the needs of all people covering high and popular arts, traditional and avant-garde, local and overseas. not only does it cater for cultural practitioners but also the audience and the education communities. the multi-level, multi-layer institutions will groom local talents for the future to come.


2.incubation there are different accommodations reserved as incubators for cultural practitioners in the plan, such as incubator centre, wide range of public, spaces and outdoor squares, experimental black box theatres, flexible art spaces, multi-purpose workspaces… incubator programmes for up-and-coming cultural practitioners are quintessential to harnessing the potentials of our society’s artistic talents in the long term.


3. exchange hong kong is one of the world’s most open societies. we envisage wkcd will be a regional platform for international exchange, research, assimilation and experimentation. convention facilities and multi-purpose workspaces are located next to the XRL station. they are intended for art organisations and international cultural institutions. community art college and the artists-in-residence programmes will promote exchange between local and overseas cultural practitioners.


4. governance our design facilitates the participation of both local and overseas management companies, independent and conglomerate agencies, large and small groups, who could potentially coexist in different permutations of management styles. the venue disposition concept allows the future management in wkcd to be innovative and flexible.

rocco design: cultural connect





the WKCD will establish that un-impeded cultural-urban field that ensures fluidity and connectivity. connectivity between art forms, between life and culture, space and movement, inside and outside,  art and community, hong kong, south china and overseas.