Broadway Cinematheque, having established itself as a symbol of promoting movie culture in Hong Kong for the past decades, decided to have a throughout renovation plan in 2010 to provide audience and visitors a fresh atmosphere and to embrace a wider spectrum of cultures such as literature, slow eating, green life, art exhibition, poem sharing, music nights, directors’ talks, and of course, movie itself. The renovated Cinematheque was re-opened on 17 Feb 2012 and has received considerable applause and support so far.
This project extent includes:
• Improvement of sightlines of the 4 cinema houses by constructing new stepped platforms.
• Make good use of the residue GFA and introduction of voids over feature spaces to make the extension of floor slab at first level possible.
• Spatial re-planning of shops, member zone, activity space and E&M rooms so that they are more unified and user friendly.
• Interior design for all the spaces including foyer, café, bookstore, member zone, CD store, circulation, and cinema houses.
• Façade design.
The Client raised a question to the architect during the early stage, ‘What is the relationship of movie and daily life?’ This question becomes the inspiration, and the design concept responses that ‘movies are actually episodes of our daily lives’ which is metaphorically represented by the newly created timber frame windows on the façade of the cinema houses facing the open space in front of it. The windows are done in the three usual aspect ratios of films in the industry. When audiences enter the cinema house and before the start of the movie, they can have a glimpse of the outside world through a single frame of shutter, reminiscent of the concept of capturing everyday episode. When the movie starts, there will be light-shield curtain mechanically rolled into place to bring audience to the movie world. More to this, the windows have actual daylight admitting function for small concert or director sharing.
It is good to remember a good movie. It is even better to remember having watched a good movie at a beloved place.
In the past Kubrick book café was separated the rest of the cinema. Now, with careful re-arrangement of floor slabs and electrical rooms, the two spaces are connected. This responses to the saying of the Client that movie and literature shall go hand in hand.
The operator of Kubrick had a wish that the bookstore would be filled with the smell of books for readers to browse around casually and slowly. Books are waiting to be discovered by different worlds of readers, not to be promoted on the best-selling shelves.
We therefore depict a slow atmosphere in the book café so that you can browse around at your own pace. We respect the local wisdom of the early craftsmanship that makes your eyes and hands remember. We try them again here. Plywood bookcase trolley, custom made steel sheet book-end, wash-grano floor, sliding gate, etc. are specially designed and executed to bring in that kind of slow feeling.
The staircase serves as the main circulation to the upper level foyer. Timber logs and mirror strips forming a curve wall with backlit lighting create a “see and be seen” picture when people encounter along the steps.
On the first floor, the slab is extended for more space to hold varied activities. A new timber screen comes into space to define the new space, which can even be loosely closed with the help of a curtain being pulled out from the concealed storeroom.
The slight lines of the 4 houses have been greatly improved with a newly constructed steel stepped platform, and the acoustic and sound system is also enhanced to the comfort of the audiences. The experience of sitting still in silence having daylight and framed pictures of the surrounding before screening is beautiful moment.