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Aerial View of K11 Ecoast. Photo: K11 Group.
Aerial View of K11 Ecoast. Photo: K11 Group.

$1.4 Billion Oceanfront Arts District to Rise in Shenzhen

Hong Kong–based real estate developer and art collector Adrian Cheng has revealed plans for a colossal waterfront development in Shenzhen that will serve as a cultural and retail hub for the fast-growing southeast China city. The project, dubbed K11 Ecoast, in line with Chen’s K11 art mall brand, will occupy upward of 2.4 million square feet at the edge of Prince Bay in Shenzhen’s posh Nanshan district. Estimated to cost 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion), the complex is expected to be completed in 2024 and will feature a bayfront promenade, a mall, office space, and a multipurpose arts space.

Cheng has secured the services of fifty architects and artists from around the world to aid with the  project. Among the former are British architect David Chipperfield, Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas’s OMA, and Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. British sculptor Phyllida Barlow and Polish installation artist Monika Sosnowska have respectively been commissioned to create public works “in honor of Shenzhen’s unique culture,” alongside a roster of Chinese and international artists.

Cheng founded K11 in 2008. The concern currently operates a seven-story art-and-retail mall and the culture-commerce K11 Musea, the latter of which is touted on its website as “an incubator of art and the artisanal.” Both complexes are situated in in Hong Kong’s Tsim Sha Tsui, a shopping and nightlife district in Kowloon. K11 Ecoast is being jointly developed with Hong Kong property developer New World Development Company Limited, K11’s parent company and the Shenzhen–based China Merchants Shekou Holdings. The effort represents just one facet of the Vision 2035 program established by the mainland government to develop nine of the country’s southern cities into cultural and business hubs in the next thirteen years.

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