Dynamic exhibition space in Hong Kong

  • Contemporary art gallery in an industrial warehouse
  • A flexible configuration
  • Spectacular views of Victoria Harbour

Make’s first art gallery – and first completed scheme in Hong Kong – is one of a number of exciting new exhibition spaces to open in the city.

John Puttick
Lead project architect, Make

Project Details

Location Hong Kong, China
Status Built 2012
Sectors Arts and culture,
Area 300m²/3,230ft²
Client Karen Smith

This multi-function art gallery is located in a former industrial warehouse which has been refurbished and transformed into a dynamic exhibition space for renowned British art curator Karen Smith. The gallery is currently being operated by Beijing-based arts organisation Platform China with the aim of promoting and exhibiting emerging contemporary Chinese artists.

To maximise and rationalise the empty warehouse space, we devised the concept of inserting a new structure into the existing stripped-back concrete shell. Rather than dividing the space into a series of rooms, it is organised by a single, continuous piece of joinery which fits the gallery’s functions together like parts of a puzzle and splits the space up into several smaller, interconnected areas.

Visitors enter a low space and progress towards a larger, double-height area as they move through the gallery, culminating in a spectacular view overlooking Hong Kong harbour. The original windows have been replaced and enlarged in order to highlight the impressive vista and draw more natural light in. The floor and walls of the supporting spaces are lined with bamboo - a material with warm, rich tones, a natural finish and exceptional sustainability credentials.

The joinery insertion has been configured to accommodate several existing concrete ceiling beams; these have been used to hang sliding panels which can be drawn across the gallery to sub-divide it. By adjusting the position of the panels, the space can be adapted and a variety of configurations created to allow a range of exhibitions, installations and events.