Foster and Partners has been selected to design the 40-hectare masterplan for the carbon-neutral West Kowloon Cultural District in Hong Kong. The city park is set to become a major cultural centre for music, performing and visual arts. However, the city’s cultural buildings and 23-hectare park aim to be highlight of the new urban quarter. It is hoped that this creation will transform the city locally and regionally put Hong Kong's culture world stage. It is believed that the first phase will be completed in 2015, and a second phase in 2026.
There are several similar cultural construction projects taking place elsewhere in the world. Saadiyat Island, just 500 metres off the coast of Abu Dhabi, is poised to become a revolutionary cultural destination with its very own Louvre and Guggenheim museums set to open in 2013. The island is fast becoming a multi-faceted island destination with a variety of attractions for many different people; it features a buzzing business hub, a relaxed waterfront residential area and architectural icons.
Meanwhile, The Iris Foundation has commissioned The Architecture Foundation to invite architects to enter their masterplans for the 8-hectare New Holland Island in the Russian city of St. Petersburg. The competition is financed by Russian oligarch, Roman Abramovich, who is reportedly spending 12 billion roubles ($400 million) to transform Peter the Great’s military port into a modern-day cultural centre.