West Kowloon’s harbor frontage which is marred by undeveloped reclaimed land is in for a transformation that will see the creation of an art hub and boost the area’s status as a luxury neighborhood and bring it at par with high end established suburbs across Victoria Harbor. A total of 40 hectare of land will be developed as West Kowloon Cultural District. The prestigious project is being designed by Norman Foster who is credited for the design of Gherkin Tower in London. The final decision of awarding the project to Foster has ended a ten year stalemate between the government, developers and art groups that had held up the area’s transformation.
The location of the project just next to the tallest skyscraper in Hong Kong and the terminal for an express railway to cities in China increases the potential of the project manifold. The transportation links to the area will increase in the future. David Ji from North Asia property consultant DTZ is of the opinion that the area has the inherent advantage of being the first stop for many visitors from mainland China. Their affluence and propensity to spend will benefit the area tremendously.
Colin Ward, the Hong Kong Based partner at Foster & Partners gave the details of the master plan for the project. The West Kowloon harbor front development will see the creation of 17 venues. 36 % of those will be dedicated to visual and performing arts, galleries and studios. The rest will be hotels, housing and commercial buildings. The development will feature a 19 hectare green park and shopping malls as well.