Malls have long occupied an important social space in Hong Kong, a city famed for its bustling streets, cramped apartment living and love of retail therapy. They’re what sociologist Ray Oldenburg dubbed ‘third places,’ communal spaces to hang out and feel connected that aren’t your home or place of work.
So, it’s not surprising that Hong Kong’s newest one –– has been generating buzz since before its soft opening in August 2019. The glitzy, 1.2-million-square-foot space intentionally blurs the lines between shopping mall, art gallery and cultural hot spot, with creative exhibits scattered throughout, conceptual cafes and even a nature park eight-storeys in the air.
There’s such an array of experiences available within K11 Musea alone that it can feel daunting to navigate, especially for a first-time visitor. Read on for highlights that will help you get the most out of a visit.
This is not your average megamall. Top architecture firms including Rotterdam-based OMA, Hong Kong-based LAAB, AB Concept, Kohn Pedersen Fox and James Corner Field Operations (responsible for New York’s High Line elevated park) collaborated to deliver on developer Adrian Cheng’s vision for a communal space merging culture and commerce.
Sustainability was also a priority. Over 50,000 square feet of green walls carpet K11 Musea’s interiors and facade while exotic plants and swathes of moss grow inside vivariums. The main atrium, clad in sheets of brassy waves, showcases the visual centrepiece – a 10-metre-wide Gold Ball encased in 285 carved glass panels. There’s also a sunken outdoor amphitheatre, with curved glass panels, a giant LED screen and a programmed water wall that will be used for film festivals and concerts.
Cheng’s passion for art led to the sourcing of some 40 contemporary art pieces that punctuate the grounds and common areas of K11 Musea. Some of our favourites include Hong Kong artist Samson Young’s mini-golf-inspired piece, Carol Bove’s colourful Melty Legs installation and Paola Pivi’s whimsical neon polar bears. That giant Gold Ball on the second floor we mentioned earlier? It’s set to host a programme of new media and video art installations throughout the year.
K11 Musea has a pleasing mix of high-end, high street brands and many firsts for the city. At the upper end, retailers include the first Asian showroom of Moda Operandi, where customers can pre-order looks directly from designers after runway shows;’s debut flagship in greater China; and an outpost of British perfumers .
There’s also a colossal outpost of quirky South Korean eyewear specialist, while streetwear heavyweights like Edison Chen’s brand and (aka God Can’t Destroy Streetwear) will keep sneakerheads in limited-edition Air Jordans and ironic slogan tees for seasons to come.
Credit: Courtesy of K11 Musea
New York’s Museum of Modern Art redefined the museum gift shop by turning its own into a space for arty homewares and quirky cultural-referencing curio – from Andy Warhol skateboard decks to Picasso-print socks, trendy backpacks, design books and tasteful presents and toys. Now you can get that experience at the biggest
K11 was the location of choice for Van Cleef & Arpels’ first permanentoutside of Paris. Located on Level 5, it hosts an ongoing series of classes, talks and exhibitions related to gemstones and high jewellery. You can also consult its library of over 600 books on the art of engagement rings and jewellery craftsmanship.
News that the British department store’s first overseas shop and restaurant was opening on our shores was met with flutters of excitement. Hongkongers who enjoy an indulgent afternoon tea can now take theirs at ’s upstairs restaurant with sweeping harbourside views, then load up on the brand’s signature tea blends, buttery biscuits, jams, marmalades and other classic British staples in the 7,000-square-foot shop on the ground floor.
Kube houses the latest outpost of coffee purveyors
You can also get a caffeine fix atin the seventh-floor Bohemian Garden rooftop – for skyline views with your flat white – or check out ’ single-origin nitro coffee bar on the third floor. Alternatively, sip espresso-based brews and rare beans from around the world in a soon-to-open outpost of minimalist Japanese coffee specialist Omotesando Koffee & Koffee Mameya.
Among the 70-something local and global concepts are some names that generate major foodie devotion. Japanese sweets cafefor its fluffy souffle pancakes, for instance, as well as American burger chain (equally beloved for the fries cooked in refined peanut oil) and Hong Kong’s first branch of Tokyo’s . For a sweet treat, try Italian gelateria Per Piacere or a fruit-infused tea made by a robot that also performs a dance every hour at Robotea.
You can’t have a trendy mall without a temple to the millennial favourite, the avocado, and K11 Musea comes through with an outpost of London’s. Other spots for a relaxing sit-down meal include Bong Pro-Dry Aging steakhouse and high-end, wellness-centric , in the adjoining Rosewood Hong Kong, where chef Renaud Marin’s menu of Mediterranean and Japanese-inspired dishes celebrate seasonal ingredients in a light, clean style. In the basement, you’ll find more casual dining at the , which houses 10 restaurants serving Chinese, Korean, Macanese, Italian and fusion cuisines.
It takes some effort – namely, finding the dedicated lift and its too-cleverly placed buttons – to reach the eighth-floor
Danish firm Monstrum has built its reputation on creative playground design and contributed two spaces to K11. The ground-floor, indoorfeatures a three-storey slide, a 10-meter-tall giant wooden boy and an interactive digital zone.
Outdoors on the seventh floor,
caters to movie-going families with the city’s first IMAX laser projection, and later in 2020 the will open with two indoor rides and 10 build and play zones. Chances are they won’t be the last headline-making developments to pop up at K11.
With so much to explore across K11 Musea’s nine storeys, you may be tempted to stay a while. And if so, the attachedis happy to oblige with equally attractive place to spend the night – whether you’re staying short- or long-term; or a studio or a sprawling penthouse. The accommodations really are homey, in a very fancy kind of way: open living spaces, terrace doors, kitchens. Balconies are rare extravagances in Hong Kong hotels, but here they come in every room, providing a little more opportunity to soak up Artus’ peerless views.
K11 Musea, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong