Surrounded by residential towers and infrastructure, the site for the Bao'an Public Culture and Art Center presents several challenges. Mecanoo reinterpreted these challenges as opportunities, capitalising on the proximity of the new cultural facility to the adjacent Bao’an Central Metro Station and the Binhai School.
The metro station and the Culture and Art Center have similar qualities: the station manages large flows of people and the Center attracts them. The design reconciles the two functions for mutual benefit, reinventing the inwardly focused identity of cultural facilities in Hong Kong. Combining the museum entrance with the entrance of the metro station generates an inviting and open urban node with a powerful capacity to diffuse art throughout the community. The Center has the simple shape of a cube, elevated from the ground to create a public square and sculpture garden. This cosmopolitan plaza will allow people, cultures, ideas and opportunities to blend.
On the north-east side, a stepped landscape with sports fields connects the Center to the Binhai School. Inside, the different functions are organised around a large central void which serves as an exhibition space for expansive art installations. Strategically positioned incisions in the volume allow for balconies with viewpoints across Bao’an.