West Kowloon Cultural District - Blackbox Theatre, Freespace
West Kowloon Cultural District Authority
Freespace and the Art Park is a performance facility located at the west end of the West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong, a world-class arts and culture hub. The total investment for this aspect of West Kowloon including the Art Park is HK$970 million (USD$120M). The project commenced in 2014 and is targeted to be completed by June 2019.
The development is comprised of a 450-seat (or 900 capacity in flat floor mode) Blackbox Theatre, The Foyer Lounge (100 seats) along with a Function Hall (flexible use) and rehearsal hall. It sits within the Art Park, an eleven hectare park equipped with infrastructure to support performances in a variety of spaces up to 10,000 people. Each of the spaces has its own acoustic characteristics, from the Blackbox, designed to accommodate a broad array of programming, to the Foyer Lounge, designed for live music in a cabaret like setting.
Freespace is 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 Freespace black-box theatre is the largest black-box theatre in Hong Kong and provides a flexible performance venue with a retractable seating for 450 patrons. The envisaged capacity in flat floor mode is 900.
It is an experimental space for a wide variety of performances that encourages immersion and interactivity between performers and audiences, that includes physical and experimental theatre, drama, music and media art. This exciting new venue adds to the variety of performance spaces in Hong Kong, and provides a new venue for outdoor concerts.