Experiential retail: A first look at Hong Kong's K11 Musea
Shopping malls and museums aren't normally destinations that we think of as being complementary, but Asian developer New World Development is clearly thinking differently, and last week unveiled its K11 Musea project. Described as its “most ambitious project to date”, it's a new museum-retail complex situated in the heart of Hong Kong's $2.6bn (US) Victoria Dockside development.
It will anchor the art and design district at Victoria Dockside in Tsim Sha Tsui, while also doubling as a new ultra high-end experiential retail, art, cultural and dining destination. The Tsim Sha Tsui harbour front, one of the most notable pieces of real estate in Greater China, debuts in 2019.
But for those outside China, this isn't the first museum-mall concept. K11 Group has developed a number of them across Greater China. But this one will be the biggest and highest-profile yet. The 10-storey K11 Musea will house an extensive selection of international brands, many of which will be flagships.
The company said the experience will start from the outside with the who centre “designed with content-driven global Millennials in mind.”
It “will greet visitors with its rotating world-class art collection.” Its facade will feature one of the world's largest living walls, boasting a total surface area of over 50,000 sq ft of greenery inclusive of the interior and exterior. Meanwhile, a one-of-a-kind outdoor amphitheatre space and a large 25-ft-tall LED screen will also be in place for a slew of cultural happenings.
The company said its Millennial focus was inspired by research that “highlights Asian Millennials as ‘Super Consumers', a prominent driver of global consumption with spending power set to reach $6trn (US) by 2020.”
And it added that travel will continue to be a key lifestyle feature of Asian Millennials, with an expected 6% growth in outbound tourists this year. Chinese Millennials, in particular, see travel and luxury as part of an indulgent lifestyle reflective of social status.
K11 Musea will “cater to their sophistication and preference for exclusivity and bespoke products while positioning itself as an aspirational global destination merging art, culture and commerce.”
The mall itself will feature a “world-class public art collection,” as well as a 2,000 sq ft Sunken Plaza designed to be “an immersive venue for a slew of cultural events such as film festivals and live music.”
Sustainability will also be key with the plans achieving new green building pre-certifications including the US LEED (Gold) and the Hong Kong BEAM Plus (Gold) standards. As well as features like the living walls, the interior uses natural materials such as limestone and wood. Other highlight features include rainwater harvesting, and a seawater-cooled, oil-free HVAC chiller system, which reduces annual energy consumption by over 12%.