Norman Foster to Design Hong Kong Cultural Hub

The British architect designed airport terminals in Hong Kong and Beijing, and Hong Kong's iconic HSBC Building.

HONG KONG -- Acclaimed British architect Norman Foster has won the right to design Hong Kong's new $2.8 billion West Kowloon cultural hub.

He plans to transform the reclaimed coastal strip into a waterfront park with both Western and Chinese opera houses, concert halls, a museum and arts schools.

His other designs in Asia include the Hong Kong international airport, the international terminal at Beijing airport and Hong Kong's HSBC building.

Hong Kong's chief secretary for administration Henry Tang said Lord Foster's plan prevailed because it was flexible and mixed arts' space and commercial use. 

His plan will include a 47-acre park with more than 5,000 trees and a shaded 1.4-mile promenade along the coast. The park component "brings the sights, sounds and senses of Hong Kong's hinterland into the heart of the city," his prospectus said.

The designer appealed to Hong Kongers' craving for space in the densely populated financial hub. "Some of the things you will be able to do are relax in a tranquil sculpture garden, have tea in a pavilion, or enjoy a picnic on the waterfront," his prospectus added.