At the beginning of 2020, I was lucky enough to visit Hong Kong’s K11 MUSEA ‘Art Mall’ concept. Opened in 2019, the ‘art mall/museum’ overlooks Victoria Harbour, and the beautiful red sail junk boats which are so iconic to Hong Kong. It sits amongst the busy Tsim Sha Tsui district, overshadowed by skyscrapers. On first impression it didn’t stand out, sitting well beneath the spectacular skyline, but as soon as I entered, I was totally blown away.
The centre features a mix of 250 retailers, 70 restaurants, 40 artist installations, and a broad array of educational programs. Some of my favourites were: an interactive Golden Goose store, which distresses sneakers whilst you wait, the Loewe store with the most incredible shop fit out, and an Agnes b. store, serving tiny little cardigan shaped cream cakes. The best part was the atrium, which looked almost as if it had been sculptured out of wood, spiralling up towards a huge glass globe, which was suspended over the entire mall.
I’m not sure ‘mall’ is the right word to describe K11 ‘MUSEA’. It’s a far cry from our traditional British shopping destinations such as Westfield or the Trafford Centre. I didn’t think anything in Britain could compare until I watched a video this week on ‘The Outernet’, Consolidated Land’s new project on Denmark Street. Their ideas and concepts reminded me so much of K11, the way they incorporate history, art and culture within a cutting-edge retail and leisure environment. Placemaking and creating a destination is so important with modern developments, and I can already tell that ‘The Outernet’ will be a really exciting cultural hub.