K11 Art and Cultural Centre,
Hong Kong

Light is immaculately detailed in the tubular glass facade, creating a distinctive external visual statement. Cool white light flows seamlessly from top to bottom of the innovative glass tubes, while soft reflections from the opposite facade bounce across the plaza to amplify the effect. The view through to the softer warmer light of the interior is a tacit invitation to enter.
Client
New World Development Company Limited
Architect
SO-IL
 
Photographer
Jackie Chan

K11 Art and Cultural Centre is found on floors 6 and 7 of the multi-storey K11 development, wrapped around a rooftop sculpture terrace that boasts views to the Hong Kong Skyline. Wanting to embrace transparency at close range, architects SO-IL proposed to envelop its curved spaces in a façade comprised of 475 x 1metre diameter glass tubes of up to 9m . These would appear as an abstracted mass when viewed from a distance, distinguishing the façade of the gallery within the context of the mall.


The development of the lighting design for the façade hinged on finding an approach that would create a strong identity, while complementing the ultra-sharp language of the architecture and clarity and regularity of the joint-free glass. Multiple tests and studies were conducted to assess the effects of both daylight and artificial lighting approaches on the glass tubes and on the art within the gallery. It was crucial to ensure the solution was not compromised by unintended reflections, apparent distortion and that the light would not damage the art.

The chosen design is a neatly integrated continuous line of 4000K white LEDs set within the mullion, covered with a one-piece diffuser that runs the full 9m height. Expertly detailed in close collaboration with the façade engineers, the minuscule channel houses the LEDs, data and power cables and is sufficiently weatherproofed to withstand the challenging tropical weather conditions. Each pixel of the lighting is individually addressable to provide an ultra -high level of control, allowing the lighting effects to be delicately finessed.



Looking into the gallery, the contrasting warm 3000K on the vertical surfaces creates an enticingly inviting atmosphere. Flexible spotlighting is semi-recessed within hand-finished plaster-in channels, a neat solution that allows the gallery to adjust the lighting to suit the current exhibition.