Hong Kong Cultural Centre
|Hong Kong Cultural Centre|
The centre's exterior, 2014
|Address||10 Salisbury Road Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong|
|Design and construction|
|Architecture firm||Architectural Services Department|
The Hong Kong Cultural Centre (Chinese: 香港文化中心) is a multipurpose performance facility in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. Located at Salisbury Road, it was built by the former Urban Council and, since 2000, has been administered by the Leisure and Cultural Services Department of the Hong Kong Government. A wide variety of cultural performances are held here.
The centre is located on the southwestern tip of Tsim Sha Tsui, on the former location of the Kowloon Station of the Kowloon-Canton Railway. Adjacent to the centre on the west is the Tsim Sha Tsui Ferry Pier of the Star Ferry, while to the east are the Hong Kong Space Museum and Hong Kong Museum of Art. The historic Clock Tower stands between the centre and the pier.
As early as 1970, the Urban Council pressed for construction of a new cultural venue in Kowloon of the same modern standard as the City Hall in Central. The cultural centre project was formally announced in 1974 to be planned on the site of the former Kowloon Station. At this time, constructed was expected to begin in 1975. However, the project faced financial constraints and was delayed. It was reexamined in 1978 and given top priority by the Urban Council, but cost estimates rose from $190 million to $474 million and the project was again shelved for some time. When construction finally began, the demolition of the historic railway station occupying the site was extremely controversial.
Originally operated by the Urban Council, the venue was officially opened in a ceremony on 8 November 1989 officiated by Charles, Prince of Wales and Princess Diana, who unveiled a commemorative plaque. The $10 million Rieger Orgelbau organ was installed from August to November in 1989 and involved the complicated installation of 8,000 pipes.
The cultural centre opened with the International Celebration of the Arts, a special programme that ran from 5 November to 6 December and showcased Hong Kong musicians, Kunju opera, Cantonese music, and performances by a range of international artists including the Cologne Opera, the Alban Berg Quartett, Sadao Watanabe, and the first Hong Kong appearance of guitarist John Williams.
- The Concert Hall, with 2,019 seats, is an oval two-tiered auditorium finished with high quality oak, and includes an adjustable acoustic canopy and curtains. It is the home of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra. It houses an 8,000-pipe pipe organ, the largest in Asia, built by Austrian firm Rieger Orgelbau. It has been recorded by Christopher Herrick on Organ Fireworks VIII.
- The Grand Theatre, with 1,734 seats in three tiers, was designed for large scale opera, ballet, and musicals. The Hong Kong Film Award presentation ceremony also takes place there.
- The Studio Theatre, with 300 to 496 seats depending upon the set-up, can accommodate smaller-scale theatre and performance works.
- Exhibition Gallery
- 4 foyer exhibition areas.
- 11 rehearsal and practice rooms.
- "Urbco to press for Kowloon Civic Centre". South China Morning Post. 27 October 1970. p. 4.
- "PWD will design big Kowloon cultural centre". South China Morning Post. 8 March 1974. p. 1.
- "Managing Hongkong's latest cultural centre's a feat". South China Morning Post. 31 December 1987. p. 4.
- "HK icon celebrates 25th birthday". Information Services Department. 2 November 2014.
- "Hong Kong Cultural Centre". South China Morning Post. 28 June 1989. p. 17.
- "Concert Hall". Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "Grand Theatre". Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
- "Studio Theatre". Hong Kong Cultural Centre. Leisure and Cultural Services Department. Retrieved 27 March 2015.
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