West Kowloon Cultural District - Freespace
West Kowloon Cultural District Authority
Freespace and the Art Park is Hong Kong’s new centre for contemporary performing arts located in the heart of the West Kowloon Cultural District. The project commenced in 2014 and was officially opened in June 2019, after a total spend of approximately HK$970million (USD$120million).
The newly completed Freespace consists of a 450-seat (or 900 capacity in flat floor mode) black box theatre dubbed The Box, the Livehouse café/bar and performance space, The Room multi-purpose function venue and The Studio, a rehearsal and small function space.
Freespace is located within Art Park, an eleven-hectare park equipped with infrastructure to support both indoor and outdoor performances, live concerts, workshops, exhibitions and festivals. Each of the spaces has its own acoustic characteristics, from The Box, designed to accommodate a broad array of programming, to the Livehouse, designed for live music in a cabaret-like setting.
Freespace was a public project developed by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, a statutory body established by the Hong Kong SAR Government. The architects for this project are Dennis Lau & Ng Chun Man Architects (DLN), West 8 (landscape), ACLA (master planning), and the theatre consultant is TheatrePlan.
Marshall Day Acoustics provided the full acoustic design and consulting services for:
- The 450-seat black-box theatre
- The foyer lounge
- The rehearsal room
- The multipurpose function hall
- Associated spaces, including technical office, green rooms and dressing rooms, etc.
MDA collaborated with the client, architects, theatre consultants, MEP and other engineers to create venues with acoustic excellence, that meet the requirements of the operators and end-users for each venue. MDA carried out site supervision and inspections frequently and communicated closely with the builders to ensure the construction complies with the acoustic design objectives.
Sitting adjacent to the Victoria Harbour in West Kowloon, The Art Park’s performance capabilities are designed to support large scale marquee amplified music events. Recognising the potential for impacting local residents and businesses, West Kowloon commissioned MDA to conduct noise mapping analysis in order to predict the future façade noise levels in the vicinity, including the future Palace Museum and hotel buildings. The assessment was conducted by using a commercial acoustic software – SoundPLAN and based on surveys and sound level measurements conducted by MDA at similar outdoor music events.
The Box, Black Box Theatre
The Box is Hong Kong’s largest black box theatre, providing a flexible performance venue for small to medium events, with retractable seating for 450 patrons or 900 standing in flat floor mode.
It’s an experimental space offering a dynamic and flexible venue for a wide variety of performances that encourages immersion and interactivity between performers and audiences, including theatre, dance, multimedia shows, music events and exhibitions. This exciting new venue adds to the variety of performance spaces in Hong Kong and provides a new venue for outdoor concerts.