Kowloon Rejuvenation: Avenue of Stars and Xiqu Centre

The first landmark to make its debut in the West Kowloon Cultural District is the Xiqu Centre, an eight-story complex dedicated to traditional Chinese opera.

The circular atrium at hong Kong’s newly minted Xiqu Centre.

Hong Kong–bound travelers now have two more reasons to spend time in Kowloon. Once an unsightly promenade bereft of greenery and places to sit, the Avenue of Stars along Victoria Harbour recently reopened after a much-needed facelift.

Owner New World Development enlisted landscape architect James Corner—the man behind New York’s High Line—for the revamp, which has incorporated celebrity handprints into wave-shaped handrails by the water, doubled the seating capacity, and added eight times more greenery than before.

One MTR stop away, the first landmark to make its debut in the West Kowloon Cultural District is the Xiqu Centre, an eight-story complex dedicated to traditional Chinese opera. Canadian studio Revery Architecture and local firm Ronald Lu & Partners were inspired by the concept of qi, or “energy flow,” to create curving forms, circular paths, and a facade of undulating aluminum ribs.

Inside, the main performance venue is a 1,073-seat hall above a stark white atrium, whereas the more intimate Tea House Theatre sees audiences served tea and dim sum during 90-minute showcases.

This article originally appeared in the April/May 2019 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Kowloon Rejuvenation”).

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