All shopping malls are not created equal.
Just take a tour of Hong Kong’s newly opened retail landmark K11 Musea in Tsim Sha Tsui and you’ll agree, too.
Located along the Tsim Sha Tsui promenade, the 10-storey K11 Musea fulfills its ambitious promise as an art and design, cultural and retail destination.
A part of the US $2.6 billion Victoria Dockside project, the 10-year project is more than just a shopping mecca. Here are a few unique things to do at the new K11 Musea.
First, why Musea is a special location
With a history tracing back to Ming Dynasty, Tsim Sha Tsui first rose to prosperity in early 1900s with the opening of the Kowloon-Canton Railway and the trading port Dockside.
Tsim Sha Tsui East became one of the most important transportation hubs in the world.
In the 1970s, the Chengs—an uber-prominent family in Hong Kong—bought the piece of land in Tsim Sha Tsui East. New World Centre was subsequently opened, transforming the then-tired area into the most fashionable hangout in town.
Now that mega-shopping malls are everywhere, the third-generation heir Adrian Cheng decided to re-build the site. Instead of another cookie-cutter shopping centre, he was thinking something more like home—well, his humble abode, not ours, of course.
It’s also an art museum
As one of the biggest art collectors in town, Adrian Cheng has stocked the mall with a rotating collection of art around the shopping mall.
It brings together more than 100 local and international designers and artists (so be prepared for a lot of name-throwing in this article).
Some of the famed international and local artists include Samson Young, Adrian Wong and Erwin Wurm.
K11 Musea has invited street artists to spruce up the streetwears section with floor-to-ceiling graffiti. It also features a digital canvas for any creative minds who want to art jam.
The mall offers a free art tour for members of the company’s Klub 11. The basic membership is free to join through its app or at the counters at MUSEA.
It’s a bit like visiting a cathedral
There is no mistaking where the designers of the 33-metre-tall grand atrium get their inspiration: classical cathedrals.
Two oculi in the roof of the atrium allow natural daylight to shine through.
The Gold Ball, floating in the Atrium, is a multi-dimensional art installation and an event space.
In fact, the architect firm in charge of the mall’s interior lighting—Speirs + Major—is the same one who revamped St. Paul Cathedral’s lighting design.
More impressively, each of the copper stripes on the interior wall are handcrafted by local artists and carpenters. Painted in a wood-like color, they resemble a sprawling roots system.
Family fun galore
K11 Musea offers plenty for families to do.
The Donut Playhouse is an oval-shaped glasshouse with an oversized Donut—a cartoon character—sculpture fitted with a 10-metre-high slide inside.
The slide and the peacock-themed slide in the Bohemian Garden are both designed by award-winning Danish company Monstrum.
(If we’d complain about one thing, it’s the confusing policy to use the peacock slide. We’re told that the slide is free to use, but we can only book it through the app. However, it’s also nowhere to be found on the app—too much hassle for a slide in a park?)
And the Bohemian Garden is the work of James Corner, the designer behind New York Highline and the new Avenue of Stars.
A green day out
The new landmark had hired professionals and botanists including Jane Goodall to design the greenery around the shopping mall.
A rooftop garden, named Nature Discovery Park, has a carefully curated selection of plants that will attract butterflies naturally.
Guests can sign up for an educational Green Tour (HK$200.00 per head).
Where to watch the next blockbuster
K11 Art House is home to a 12-theatre cinema with the first IMAX Laser projection system in Hong Kong.
The state-of-the-art screening technology promises sharper and more vivid images with top-notch sound quality. Best place to be immersed in the next mega sci-fi production, we’d bet!
A dining destination
The establishment boasts a stellar line-up of international F&B brands.
Some of the places we can’t wait to try are Avobar (the avocado-themed restaurant that won the internet in London), Chatterbox Café (the Singapore restaurant known for its Hainan chicken rice) and French bakery Gontran Cherrier (constantly named one of the best crossiants in Paris).
It’s still a shopping mall
K11 Musea is still a shopping mall afterall—therefore, one major thing to do there is to shop.
Musea has brought internationally renowned brands to Hong Kong for the first time including the MOMA design store, Fortum & Mason and Yohji Yamamoto flagship store.