The Peak (Hong Kong) - - The View From The Peak -

Is ar­chi­tec­ture art? That ques­tion is some­thing that prob­a­bly first emerged with the ad­vent of tem­ples and re­li­gious build­ings of var­i­ous sizes and pur­poses. Over the mil­len­nia, ar­chi­tec­ture has evolved from cre­at­ing places of wor­ship and gath­er­ing to pri­vate res­i­dences. Af­ter all, who would not pre­fer a home de­signed by a bril­liant and artis­tic ar­chi­tect rather than some­thing done purely on a util­i­tar­ian ba­sis?

Of course, pub­lic spa­ces are not al­ways ne­glected; some­times they are even redis­cov­ered. Famed ar­chi­tec­tural firm Her­zog & de Meu­ron reimag­ined Swiss rail­way switch­ing sta­tions, turn­ing staid util­ity build­ings into some­thing re­sem­bling mod­ern art. Mean­while, new art gal­leries and mu­se­ums of art are tak­ing on the char­ac­ter­is­tics of gi­gan­tic ob­jets d’art. The much ma­ligned and de­layed M+ mu­seum has strik­ing qual­i­ties that are still largely un­known to the Hong Kong pub­lic. The main ver­ti­cal por­tion of the build­ing is ac­tu­ally meant to serve as a com­put­erised visual screen.

One of the lead de­sign­ers on this mu­seum and on many other nor­mal sights in Hong Kong is Sir Terry Far­rell, who is our cover story this is­sue. Sir Terry es­chews some of the more vain­glo­ri­ous trap­pings of big-name ar­chi­tects – the la­bel ‘star­chi­tect’ is among them. What Sir Terry en­joys is bring­ing to­gether mod­ernist and clas­si­cal el­e­ments to­gether. As a boy, Sir Terry was fas­ci­nated by draw­ing and en­joyed art, but al­ways felt that he wanted some­thing more – some­thing func­tional as well as artis­tic. The many cre­ations of Sir Terry Far­rell in Hong Kong are a tes­ta­ment to that.

Art also of­fers a way to dis­tin­guish a build­ing and its oc­cu­pants. This theme is drawn out in our two main fea­tures this is­sue. Bran­don Zatt takes us on a tour of the per­son­al­i­ties and plans for the forth­com­ing Shekou De­sign Mu­seum, jointly run by Lon­don’s Vic­to­ria and Al­bert Mu­seum, to open next year in Shen­zhen. That city has taken great pains to be­come much more than a man­u­fac­turer of cheap goods, build­ing up ev­ery­thing from its fi­nance and bank­ing in­dus­try to the rep­re­sen­ta­tion of art in the com­mu­nity. The new mu­seum is even thought of as some­thing of a ri­val to Hong Kong’s M+.

Mean­while, So­phie Kalkreuth takes us on a tour of lux­ury prop­erty de­vel­op­ers in the US and the UK who are find­ing new ways to in­cor­po­rate art into their lux­ury projects. From sculp­tures by big name artists, to cre­at­ing artist-in­res­i­dence pro­grammes on site, lux­ury prop­er­ties are be­com­ing places of art as much as places of amenity and com­fort.

We also have a in­ter­view this is­sue with Ge­orge Yabu and Glenn Pushel­berg, a de­sign duo that have spent the last 35 years build­ing a name for them­selves as the “go-to” in­te­rior de­sign­ers for lux­ury homes, ho­tels and restau­rants. In a spe­cial Q&A with The Peak, they re­veal their thoughts on cre­ativ­ity, art and de­sign.

Here in Hong Kong, prop­erty de­vel­op­ers like Sino Land and New World have taken th­ese lessons firmly on board. In ad­di­tion to the ar­chi­tec­ture, they are ad­ding the art.

The KK100 Build­ing in Shen­zhen, by TFP Far­rells

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