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Tseung Kwan O



Foyer and Exhibition Hall

Shaw Movie City – Foyer and Exhibition hall

An Introduction to its Architecture

Johnny Kember,  Director of Architecture- KplusK associates

KplusK were commissioned to design Architecturally cohesive environments for Shaw Movie City, one of the last legacy projects of Sir Run Run Shaw’s enormous contributions to Hong Kong’s Cultural landscape.


Conceived of as a public-private partnership in the early 2000’s, the building was ostensibly given it’s Occupation Permit in 2009.


The building’s dissonant and fractured forms needed to be stitched together to create a totality. We were also asked to add sophisticated conference and Exhibition areas, points of inflexion, places for informal and formal meetings, and to be organized  such that the enormous volume is readily “readable” as a cohesive environment.

This we achieved with the use of a continuous diaphanous surface, organized and supported on a structural Aluminium matrix. We started with an organizational grid pattern of equal sized triangles, laid over the plan of the hall, and then distorted the matrix along its “Z” axis to create an undulating inverted landscape.


This is counterpointed with the smooth, continuous flat plane of the floor, created using Porcelanosa’s immaculate tiles. These were selected because of their rigorous dimensional stability, enabling jointing between tiles of no more than 3mm, and using an expansion jointing system to enable the floor to create an unbroken  plane of 33,000sq.ft.


The undulating surface of the matrix then accommodates the general lighting system, devised in collaboration between KplusK and Light Directions.  Triangular flat plate LED’s are recessed into folded planes of white Aluminium to give a soft glow to this gently undulating surface. Also incorporated into the Matrix is the Aircontitioning system, the Electrical main cabling for the building, accent lighting, and a 14 metre circumference cylindrical information display. Where semi-private spaces were required to be formed,  the matrix curves down to touch the floor, and the structural matrix exposed to provide screening, and apparent physical separation. Cores, conference facilities and service areas have then been clad in order of importance, giving  subtle, yet subliminally readable  valence to the spaces.


Overall, the matrix provides order, where there was none. It describes in very subtle ways the delineation of public and semi-private spaces.  It importantly provides a continuum throughout this public arena, to enable seamless access to the three administration buildings above. It prescribes zones for ad-hoc events and gatherings, without dictating.  


It is at once formal, befitting the buildings use as the epicentre of the Hong Kong Film industry, whilst always assuming its human scale.

The matrix is hyper organized, without being overtly repetitive. The matrix is both rigid in its geometry, which is tangibly apparent when one views the inverted topography along one of its Axes, whilst becoming infinite, one step beyond. 


It is this essential paradox that makes the environments so beguiling, and fascinating.   


July 2021

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