Since its opening in 1989 Hong Kong’s Cultural Centre has offered a stimulating environment for the performing arts and has catered to the requirement for better cultural fare. It has been linked to the city’s cultural coming of age. Located on one of Hong Kong’s finest waterfront sites, with a background of high rises on the Tsim Sha Tsui waterfront on Salisbury Road, it is in close proximity to other cultural facilities such as the Hong Kong Space Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of Art.
Designed by a committee of government architects, the building has no windows. The only opening on to the water front views is a narrow slit of glass that runs up the low angular wall in the middle of the pink tiled building. This purpose built facility is the home of the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Hong Kong Chinese Orchestra and the Hong Kong Ballet; it also hosts mainland and Hong Kong modern dance companies as well as Cantonese Opera groups. The Centre also hosts film festivals, plays, pop concerts, art shows, photographic exhibitions and Chinese calligraphy exhibitions.
The Centre covers 5.2 ha, has a floor area of 82,231 sq m and houses a concert hall, grand theatre, a studio theatre, an exhibition gallery, four foyer exhibition areas, eleven well equipped rehearsal and practice rooms, catering facilities and shops. The soaring lobby provides a grand entrance to the many cultural occasions and performances held there.
The elegant Concert Hall with its emerald green interior seats 2,019 and is oval in shape with a two tiered auditorium, adjustable acoustic canopy and curtains. It also has an 8,000 pipe organ, the largest in Asia. The plush Grand Theatre with a crimson interior seats 1,734 in three tiers and is designed for large scale opera, ballet and musical performances. The Hong Kong Film Awards take place here. The Studio Theatre with a seating capacity of 300 to 490 accommodates smaller scale productions.
In order to encourage and foster talent the Cultural Centre has free events featuring musical shows, Chinese dance and magic shows aimed at families on Saturday afternoons. A Happy Hour is held on Thursday from 6 to 7 pm featuring Chinese classical music, western music and puppetry.
The Cultural Centre has been implementing programmes to develop as a financially sustainable artistic and social hub by increasing its audience base, encouraging community participation, assisting local theatre groups to expand their repertoires and achieve their aspirations while encouraging hybrid art form productions.
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