Hong Kong mega-collector and developer Adrian Cheng to build $1.4 billion new seaside art district in Shenzhen

Art collector and real estate magnate Adrian Cheng is bringing his K11 art shopping mall brand from Hong Kong to mainland China for the first time. He has unveiled an ambitious plan to build a massive cultural shopping hub on the waterfront of Shenzhen, the country’s emerging metropolis in the southeastern region, with contributions from some of the art world’s biggest names.

The upcoming complex, known as K11 Ecoast, is located in Prince Bay in Shenzhen’s Nanshan District and covers more than 2.4 million square meters, the equivalent of 50 football fields. Valued at 10 billion yuan ($1.4 billion), the site will be home to a shopping mall, multi-purpose art space, office building and waterfront promenade.

Fifty international artists and architects have been brought in to work with Cheng on the project, which represents K11’s first foray into mainland China since its inception in 2008. K11 also operates an art shopping center in Hong Kong’s busy Tsim Sha Tsui shopping district and the nearby K11 Museums complex.

Rendering of “FLOATING GARDEN PAVILION”, rooftop installation at K11, by Sou Fujimoto. Thanks to K11 Group.

Cheng has recruited an all-star lineup of collaborators, including UK architects David Chipperfield, Rem Koolhaas’ OMA and Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto. Chinese artists and international names will also contribute art, including public works by Britain’s Phyllida Barlow and Monika Sosnowska from Poland.

The project was jointly developed by New World Development Company, one of the largest property developers in Hong Kong, founded by Cheng’s grandfather Cheng Yu-tung and the parent company of K11, and China Merchants Shekou Holdings in Shenzhen. It is billed as a “cultural shopping destination and a circular economy pioneer” in the Greater Bay Area, part of a major development plan by China’s central government that includes nine cities in southeastern China, including Guangzhou and Shenzhen.

The opening of K11 Ecoast is planned for the end of 2024.

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