Shaw Auditorium, HKUST
Shaw Auditorium, HKUST
Our super-flexible auditorium for Hong Kong University of Science and Technology provides the perfect space for multiple uses
Working with Henning Larsen Architects, Theatreplan has designed the Shaw Auditorium which opened in Hong Kong at the end of 2021.
The supremely flexible space provides HKUST with a new multipurpose venue that benefits from stunning views to Hong Kong’s Clear Water Bay. The Theatreplan team provided auditorium planning, production and working light systems, sound, communication and stage engineering consultancy services.
We worked in close collaboration with the architect and the client’s media and performing arts teams throughout the early design stages to ensure maximum functionality in each operational mode, meeting the brief for auditorium that had to accommodate all these different activities, from seated concerts to gala dinners, with perfect acoustics every time.
The result is a flexible ‘white box’ space with minimal impact of technical infrastructure on architectural design. The 850-seat venue can be quickly transformed from a fully raked auditorium to a flat floor space with the use of retractable seating units that are stored outside the auditorium and elevators in the auditorium floor. Seats are stored on movable wagons in the basement, to allow capacity to increase to 1300 seats. The auditorium was primarily designed around music, as the University has a large body of classical musicians, but the venue will also host lectures with large format projection, graduation ceremonies when the auditorium cleverly opens directly out into the foyers to allow for extended audience capacity, with video relay for those furthest from the stage.
To serve the wider community and University estate, the venue can host theatre performances, congregations, product launches, Fresher’s week and public concerts. Opening up the rooms can also provide a fluid exhibition space running into the foyer. Ceiling hatches in ancillary spaces allows for lighting, sound or video services to be available throughout the venue.
The venue also has extensive foyer also able to host smaller events, numerous support spaces for both the theatre and the fully equipped educational spaces.
Photography by Kris Provoost, courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects