K11 MUSEA is reshaping the retail experience

Now open at Hong Kong’s Victoria Dockside, K11 MUSEA is a new, innovative cultural-retail space that could change the future of the retail experience.

After ten years of planning and building, one of the world’s most innovative cultural-retail experiences has opened in the heart of Victoria Dockside, Hong Kong. Named K11 MUSEA, this extraordinary feat in design and architecture was originally conceived and created by Adrian Cheng, in collaboration with over 100 creatives.

“Over the last decade I have been building, listening and learning from our retail malls and its visitors to truly understand the relevance of design and art being made available to all,” Cheng mentions. “The goal of K11 MUSEA is to become the silicon valley of culture in Hong Kong, injecting art, architecture, design, sustainability and all forms of cultures into new consumer’s daily life.”

“We first introduced contemporary art into our malls to add to the cultural experience for our community,” he continues. “Through the power of creative architecture, design, art and enrichment of the consumer offline and online experience, we are creating a unique cultural-retail experience that is at the very forefront of consumer entertainment and engagement.”

Set to enhance the cultural and leisure offerings along Hong Kong’s iconic Tsim Sha Tsui harbour front, K11 MUSEA is a unique project that brings together cutting edge architectural design, world class retail options – including the biggest MoMA Design Store in Asia – and a curated celebration of arts and culture. Part of the Victoria Dockside development, the complex sits beside a range of other new buildings, including luxury residences K11 ARTUS, an office building called K11 ATELIER, and the new flagship Rosewood Hong Kong.

Led by Kohn Peerson Fox Associates and James Comer Field Operations, the creation of K11 MUSEA involved a collection of international designers, including the likes of OMA, LAAB, Dutch playground designers Monstrum, and lighting specialists Speirs + Major. The design team behind the 10-storey complex were assisted by a collective of over 100 creatives, including local talent from Hong Kong; this has resulted in K11 MUSEA becoming a place “where eclectic styles, cultures, heritage and collectables meet”.

K11 MUSEA’s interior design has been heavily informed by the history of the site it sits on, as well as its waterfront location. In fact, in one area of the complex – where visitors will find the MoMA Design Store – the team has preserved the original waffle ceiling structure from the 1970s. Restored and modernised, the ceiling now features inventive lighting designed by Speirs and Major; these the new mouth-blown lights resemble lighthouses, paying tribute to K11 MUSEA’s nautical connection.

One of K11 MUSEA’s key features is its stunning atrium, the grand Opera Theatre. The atrium has a 35-metre high oculus that shines natural light down onto the spaces below; it has been designed to incorporate a fluid contour made up of over 1000 square metres of hand-tamped and hand-painted aluminium tiles, created by LAAB in collaboration with local craftsmen.

Meanwhile, the ‘beating heart’ and centrepiece of K11 MUSEA is the magnificent Gold Ball; catching the eye from every angle, the Gold Ball is a multi-dimensional architectural sculpture that doubles as a space for K11’s extensive range of exhibitions. Overhead, Speirs + Major have designed and programmed a cluster of over 1,800 lights to look like the swirling galaxy, guaranteeing that visitors will be mesmerised by their surroundings no matter where they are within the complex.

Another key feature of the project is K11 MUSEA’s lengthy expanse of living walls – overall, the complex’s structure holds 50,000sqft of plant life. Sustainability was central to the project’s design, resulting in the extensive greenery as well as urban rooftop farming, and a top level green building design certification. The team behind K11 MUSEA hope that the building will set “a new benchmark for urban conservation and eco lifestyle in Hong Kong”.

Outside, the design team has developed an amphitheatre called the Sunken Plaza. Measuring almost 2,000sqft, the theatre has a curved glass wall that can be programmed with different lighting and water installations. Forming part of Kulture 11 – K11 MUSEA’s wide ranging cultural programme of events – the Sunken Plaza will act as a backdrop for a variety of events, including talks and theatrical performances.

Elsewhere, families and children can be entertained by K11 MUSEA’s Nature Discovery Park and in-built playgrounds. Featuring two slides custom-designed by Monstrum – the biggest sculptural slides in Hong Kong, these kid-friendly spaces ensure that K11 MUSEA offers opportunities for leisure, relaxation, learning and play for the whole family.  

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