It’s been a while since I’ve taken the time to explore Hong Kong’s greatest pieces of architecture. My destination this time was an academic building just like my visit to the Hong Kong Design Institute in the beginning of the year. With the MTR offering half-price travel on that particular day, I decided to spend my afternoon taking the long journey to Kowloon Tong to tour the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre at the City University of Hong Kong.
Designed by Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind, the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre is considered an architectural icon. It was named after Sir Run Run Shaw and opened in late 2011 to great public reception. The nine-storey building currently houses the operations of the School of Creative Media, the Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, the Department of Computer Science, the Department of English and the Department of Media and Communication.
Reflecting Libeskind’s signature asymmetric outlines, the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre merges sensitively to its surroundings as an extension to the topography of Tat Hong Avenue. It adopts a crystalline design in all elements of its structure including the structural beams, windows, doors and lighting. The building, made out of concrete and steel with ceramic tile cladding, was constructed with a flexible molecular design that makes potential future changes possible.
With a range of spaces and lighting, the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre attends to a function that holds true to its name. It provides an environment suitable for research and creativity for the departments housed inside, offering classrooms, studios, theatres and laboratories and more for both students and professors. Interior areas contribute to the wider discussion of contemporary art by regularly holding art exhibitions. The faculty members hope that in this way, the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre acts as more than just a school building but also as a hub for creative thinking.
Students, professors and visitors also have the option of wandering into landscaped gardens scattered throughout the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre. These outdoor areas, filled with greenery, serve as spaces for inspiration and relaxation. It was certainly a delight to step into fresh air after my hour-long exploration of the building.
I personally loved exploring the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre. Each corner is specially designed and offers a surprise at every turn. The irregular slicing and sloping of the walls and ceilings encourage the students to interact in unique ways. How I wish the University of Hong Kong’s Knowles Building, where I worked for the majority of my undergraduate Architecture degree in, was half as funky in form! If anything, when I was out of ideas, there would at least be something distinct to feast my eyes on rather than just a regular box-shaped room.
The next time I come back to the Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre, I will make sure it’s during the weekday when classes are in operation. While there were students working quietly when I visited on a Saturday, I want to see how the rooms are used to their full facilities when classes are in process. Oh, and of course when there are exhibitions being held at the building!
Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre
18 Tat Hong Avenue, Kowloon, Hong Kong
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