• Lead consultant and
    design architect:

    Henning Larsen
  • Executive Architect:
    Wong Tung & Partners
  • Project completion:
    2021
  • Products:
    AQUAPANEL® Cement Board Indoor
    AQUAPANEL® Cement Board Outdoor  
  • Application area:
    3,500 m2 AQUAPANEL® 
    Cement Board Indoor for interior walls
    3,000 m2 AQUAPANEL® 
    Cement Board Outdoor for exterior walls
  • Type of building:
    Multi-purpose auditorium

© Copyright Kris Provoost, courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

This multipurpose auditorium provides a flexible space that can host a wide range of events for up to 1,300 visitors. Located at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), this building serves as a bridge between the faculty and the neighboring community.
 

The Shaw Auditorium, designed and materialized by a joint venture between two award-winning architect offices, 'Henning Larsen Architects' and the local 'Wong Tung & Partners', is located at the entrance of the campus to the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). With its three-story-high elliptical shape, Shaw Auditorium presents itself as an architectural highlight in contrast to the typical rectangular buildings surrounding it.

The primary objectives during the planning process were to reflect HKUST's reputation as a well-known innovation center and to create an innovative multifunctional venue capable of hosting various activities. These include concerts, conferences, gala dinners, and exhibitions. The elliptical and cantilevered floors serve to optimize energy efficiency and act as a symbol toward a green thriving future.

 

© Copyright Kris Provoost, courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

The architects aimed to embed the sustainability aspect of the building in its walking paths. Whenever visitors and faculty walk from and to different parts of the building, they should experience the smooth river-like structure of the building. People should feel mentally relaxed and embrace the natural flow of the corridors similar to how water flows in a river. However, which construction material could be used to reflect these ideas in a physical form while remaining robust? Allowing for a wide range of finishes and curvatures of up to 1 meter radius, AQUAPANEL® Cement Board Indoor was able to create a smooth curved wall without any connecting joints making the entire structure appear as one whole surface.

 

© Copyright Kris Provoost, courtesy of Henning Larsen Architects

Representing itself as a beacon of sustainability, meant that the Shaw Auditorium also needed the means to withstand the forces of nature. These include winds, rain, and direct sunlight. To provide a barrier against these, the architects designed the building in a multistory elliptical curved fashion. The overlapping curved ellipses made possible by AQUAPANEL® Cement Board Outdoor would allow rain and direct sunlight to be blocked with ease.

While the curved elliptical structures may be enough to provide a protective barrier against lesser forces of nature, there also needed to be shielding against dangerous impacts, fires, and mold. Hong Kong’s subtropical climate makes it a perfect environment for mold to grow which could quickly turn the Shaw Auditorium from a sustainable innovation center into an unappealing, demotivating premise. Flying objects caused by strong winds from the South China Sea could damage buildings and result in additional repair expenditure. The lightweight AQUAPANEL® Cement Board Outdoor accounts for all these issues by offering fire, water, mold, and impact resistance, creating a safe protective barrier against nature’s unprecedented threats.

Across the entire project, over 6,500 square meters of AQUAPANEL® Indoor and Outdoor Cement Boards were installed to put this concept design into reality.

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