Pipe dream
Wallpaper|January 2021
Architects SO-IL have made waves at the new K11 arts centre in Hong Kong’s Victoria Dockside
CATHERINE SHAW

Adrian Cheng was a child when he first visited IM Pei’s revolutionary glass and metal pyramid at the Louvre. It was, he says, his first experience of architecture that ‘activates the soul’. ‘I remember being mesmerised by the architectural purity of the pyramid architecture and the daring juxtaposition of old and new,’ Cheng recalls. The founder of artisanal-focused lifestyle brand K11, and CEO of Hong Kong-based New World Development, Cheng has been the creative driving force behind K11 Musea, a groundbreaking art-retail complex that opened in 2019 in Hong Kong’s Victoria Dockside cultural district (see W*247).

For the new K11 Art & Cultural Centre, a 6,000 sq m exhibition space with 1,000 sq m sculpture park on the sixth floor of K11 Musea, Cheng was keen to make a visual statement that bridges architecture, urbanism, landscape and public space. So he did not balk when Brooklyn-based architectural studio SO-IL proposed an undulating glass façade that would require investment to develop a revolutionary way of folding sheets of glass to create 9m-high, 0.9m-wide tubes.

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