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Performing in an Open Box

ArtisTree, a multipurpose space in Hong Kong for arts events, will be relocated from Cornwall House to Cambridge House in June this year. Frank Leung from via. tells us about its new design.

Performing in an Open Box

The new ArtisTree is part of Swire Properties’ Taikoo Place redevelopment project. At a more accessible location, the new ArtisTree features a meticulously designed entrance that lures visitors into the space for an artistic experience. “The grand entrance will stand out along one of the busiest thoroughfares at Taikoo Place,” says Frank Leung, principal of via.

The entrance gates will be built with wavy aluminium profiles in timber veneer, with gaps between the aluminium profiles giving passers-by a glimpse of the interior. When open, the gates will form part of the undulating walls that will mark the threshold to a world of art. The waves on the walls will also symbolise resonance, which as Leung explains, is a core element of ArtisTree’s new identity.

The 7,000-square-foot space will house a variety of cultural events. These will include exhibitions and arts performances featuring young talents and productions from international groups. The new ArtisTree aims to be an open box as opposed to a traditional black box, which will communicate the creative energy within the space to a wider audience. “We’re more interested in exploring the interior-exterior dynamics,” Leung says.

A unique feature wall crafted from close to 1,000 hollow metallic squares will demarcate the main performance area. Stacked together at an angle, these ‘open boxes’ will form an 18-metre by 6-metre continuous wall that will echo the fluidity of stage performances. These boxes will also be illuminated at night, suggesting to passers-by the cultural happenings in the space. A sleek, industrial aesthetic will further define the remaining areas.

The new ArtisTree will be fitted with professional stage and performance technology, including motorised bars for equipment and lighting installation, while the acoustics design of the space will support high-quality performances without affecting the tenants of Taikoo Place. The space will also have a flexible seating system, allowing live performances in different forms, such as drama, dance, and fashion show, to take place.

All in all, the new design for ArtisTree literally goes outside of the black box to offer Hong Kong a unique space for the sharing of artistic experiences.

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