With its crystalline facade and spaceship-like interior, this school of media aims to push imagination into another dimension writes Michele Koh Morollo.
10 October, 2011
The newest addition to the City University of Kong Kong (City U), the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre in Kowloon Tong, opens on 28 October.
The futuristic crystalline structure, named after Hong Kong media mogul, philanthropist and former Shaw studio chief Run Run Shaw, is designed Daniel Libeskind.
Built specially for the university’s new media, film, design and photography programmes, the 9-storey, 263,000 sq ft centre will house 2 sound stages, 5 screening rooms, a multipurpose theatre, 3 lecture rooms, a television studio, a sound recording studio, a virtual reality immersive research lab, computer labs and classrooms for production and research as well as a wood and metal and electrical shop, a restaurant, cafe and landscaped garden.
Angular, asymmetrical steel-reinforced concrete slabs convey the anarchy involved in the creative process. In the structure’s dramatic aerodynamic composition, Libeskind captures the push and pull of ideas, which change over time and generate their own momentum.
Inside, the walls slope and slice through space with oblique windows cut out from the walls of the interior lecture halls, classrooms and labs, giving each room and area its own unique shape. Plenty of transparency, open passageways and abundant natural light make for a more interactive and intimate atmosphere that is conducive to spontaneous collaboration and informal exchange between faculty and students.
The new building’s highly conceptual aesthetics and space-splicing, zigzagged form though a big leap from the university’s other more conventional buildings, is exactly what the institution is looking for.
City U acknowledges that this abstract design “will inevitably attract some controversy”, but they are looking to break the mould and are happy with the bold statement that the Run Run Shaw Creative Centre makes.
Photograhy: John Gollings
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