last year, designboom previewed a new art and cultural center in hong kong designed by SO – IL. now complete, the museum forms part of ‘victoria dockside’ — a major new mixed-use development designed by KPF and located on the tsim sha tsui waterfront. as part of the project, SO – IL was commissioned to design a museum capable of showcasing both permanent and temporary exhibitions.

SO – IL K11 art cultural center
image © kevin mak (also main image)

 

 

victoria dockside is backed by new world development, a firm helmed by adrian cheng who also founded the K11 art foundation. the museum, which SO – IL designed at the same time that KPF began construction on the overall building, rests atop the K11 art mall and below 12 floors of luxury residences. the venue combines the top two floors of the podium, originally designed for retail and further food and beverage, with a generous rooftop sculpture terrace that boasts skyline views.

SO – IL K11 art cultural center
image © kevin mak

 

 

to create a greater sense of transparency, and to integrate the museum with its context, the architects decided to clad the museum with glass tubes. in order to realize this ambitious façade, SO – IL worked closely with engineering firm eckersley o’callaghan and glass fabricator cricursa. together, the team made a total of 475 glass tubes, each nine meters tall (30 ft) and one meter in diameter (3 ft).

SO – IL K11 art cultural center
image © kevin mak

 

 

it was decided early on to create the tubes as two halves so that the glass could be bent into shape before being joined together. gravity bending was used to slump the heated flat sheets of glass over a mold. ‘with this technique for bending glass, to get the quality right when you’re slumping it over the mold, you have to make sure the thickness of the glass is uniform throughout and the surface of the glass is not distorted as it happens,’ damian rogan of eckersley o’callaghan tells IGS magazine, who provide more info on the project’s technical challenges.

SO – IL K11 art cultural center
image © kevin mak

 

 

‘though glass is considered a fairly conventional building material, it plays a significant role in our unconventional response to the project context: a museum that sits in a mix-used environment and adjacent to commercial spaces,’ explains SO – IL. ‘typically, museums are closed volumes that avoid engagement with their often hyper-urban surroundings. our design simply embraces transparency to implicate the museum within its commercialized city space.’

SO – IL K11 art cultural center
image © kevin mak

 

 

the museum itself is divided into two wings. the west wing consists of various museum amenities, including a restaurant, café, shops, and education space, along with intimately scaled galleries. meanwhile, the east wing combines two floors into one, providing generously proportioned exhibition space with harbor views. the outdoor sculpture terrace is positioned in between. see designboom’s previous coverage of the project here.

SO – IL K11 art cultural center
image © kevin mak

SO – IL wraps K11 art and cultural center in hong kong with a façade of glass tubes
image © kris provoost

SO – IL wraps K11 art and cultural center in hong kong with a façade of glass tubes
image © kris provoost

SO – IL wraps K11 art and cultural center in hong kong with a façade of glass tubes
image © kris provoost

SO – IL wraps K11 art and cultural center in hong kong with a façade of glass tubes
image © kevin mak

SO – IL wraps K11 art and cultural center in hong kong with a façade of glass tubes
image © kevin mak

SO – IL wraps K11 art and cultural center in hong kong with a façade of glass tubes
image © kris provoost

 

 

 

project info:

 

name: K11 art and cultural center
location: hong kong
program: ​museum/galleries, restaurant, café, and education space
project area: 10,000 sqm
SO – IL design team: jing liu, florian idenburg, danny duong, juan minguez, kerim miskavi, grace lee, seunghyun kang
client: new world

 

collaborators —
façade engineer: eckersley o’callaghan
glass fabricator: cricursa
façade contractor: seele
lighting designer: speirs & major
local architect: ronald lu partners
structure engineer: arup
photography: kevin mak, kris provoost