Atkins has been chosen to develop the underground elements of the $350m Xiqu Centre as part of the consultancy team that was selected to design the development in Hong Kong’s £1.7bn cultural district..
The scope of work under the contract includes detailed design for the substructure, including foundations, basement and ground floor, and excavation and lateral support for construction, associated road works and external drainage adjacent to the building.
Atkins will also supervise the site for a period of ten months.
The company said that the Xiqu Centre is a technically challenging project as it is sited within a cramped urban area and will sit directly above the MTR West Rail metro tunnels and the southern end of Austin station.
Atkins director for structure in Asia Pacific CK Chan said the complexity of infrastructure above and below ground in Hong Kong means all big projects are difficult.
"There are several hurdles including making sure the Centre’s foundations are clear of the metro and the structure spreads its load in a way that does not add additional load to the MTR tunnel,"Chan said.
"The construction phase is also critical due to the vibration risk and the changes in surcharge loadings on the MTR structures as soil is removed and then the basement constructed above."
In December 2012, the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) selected Bing Thom Architects together with Ronald Lu & Partners to design the Xiqu Centre.
The centre will be located on a 13,800m² site at the eastern edge of the cultural district on the corner of Canton Road and Austin Road West and will provide a gateway of access to the district.
The centre will feature public leisure space, 2,000m² of training and education facilities and a traditional tea house for performances with seating capacity up to 280.
Xiqu Centre will also feature two auditoria with seating capacity for 1,100 and 400 people, which will be developed in phase two.
Xiqu Centre is expected to be completed by the end of 2016, when it will become the first of the 17 core arts and cultural buildings planned to be built in the West Kowloon Cultural District.
Image: Xiqu Centre is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2016. Photo: Bing Thom Architects.