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Hong Kong's West Kowloon Cultural District – The Plan for the Future

Is Hong Kong Lacking Culture?
The West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) is a Hong Kong project that has been a work in progress since the late 1990s.  The West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) construction project is the plan that emerged as a result of a mass tourism survey conducted in 1996 which came to the conclusion that Hong Kong was not at the time, a cultural destination for tourists.  The response made by the Hong Kong government was to rectify this in order to raise the city’s cultural profile and for Hong Kong to become an arts hub for Asia.

Plans and Development
The WKCD development is located on Kowloon side of Hong Kong in the triangular site adjacent to the ICC building and Canton Road. The entire site covers 40 hectares and the proposal plans to house this massive area with 17 arts and cultural venues. The development will be primarily low density which will favour open green space such as landscaped parks, avenues, piazzas and accommodating the existing waterfront promenade.
The project will be completed in separate phases, the first of which is scheduled to commence in 2013, will see the construction of the Xiqu Centre (theatre building), the M+ Museum, Freespace – a combination of indoor and outdoor flexible venues for the music scene, learning facilities and performance centres. By 2026, the WKCD aims to be a leading international destination for the visual and performing arts.

Construction Skills Required for the WKCD
Being one of the world’s largest arts and cultural projects, it is inevitable that construction professionals from all over the world will be interested to be involved in its development. It is a scheme that will no doubt bring in specialized talent, for example building engineers, designers and project architects who have previous experience in the field of cultural buildings such as museums and theatres. Furthermore, particular skill sets in sustainability, environmental impact and green space will be highly valued. What needs to emphasized in the case of the WKCD is its intention of global outreach for Hong Kong. To exemplify, the M+ Museum is aiming to match the prestige and international professional standard of design, functionality and content to that of other landmark museum buildings such as the Centre Pompidou (Paris), Tate Galleries (various in UK) and the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York). Because of this, the WKCD would definitely benefit from experts who have gained the international exposure in prestigious leisure and cultural buildings and worked on projects polished to the highest standard achievable. 

New Era of Building and Infrastructure Construction for Hong Kong
Although the civil engineering works throughout Hong Kong are still prevalent and ongoing, there is also now a boom for the building construction sector. There are already plenty of projects ongoing in Hong Kong (our office overlooks the Central Police Station Redevelopment Project) and plenty of building construction activity over in Macau with hotel and casino projects in full swing & with more to come.  Although the WKCD project has so far been a slow burner, the plans and scale of work is one that lots of construction professionals are willing to wait for. 2013 will be the year where the WKCD sets out to ramp up in staff requirements to aim for a future that will transform Hong Kong’s urban landscape and ultimately its status in the world as a cultural hotspot.

We would welcome applications with current CVs in Word format, from interested construction professionals with leisure, cultural or major building project experience gained anywhere in the world.

Donald Leung
Maxim Recruitment
Hong Kong Office

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