Earlier in July, Phillips’ competitor, Christie’s, announced their Asia-Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong will be relocated. The new structure will move from their current Alexandra House location to The Henderson building in 2024.
Five months later, Phillips announced relocation from their current Asia-Pacific headquarters in Hong Kong. They will move from Central to the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) Tower in Autumn 2022 – on the opposite side of Victoria Harbour.
The West Kowloon Cultural District can be considered as Hong Kong's new arts and cultural hub. M+ Museum, the District's centrepiece, opened its doors to the public in mid-November.
The permanent auction hall and exhibition space of Phillips' new headquarters would mean more autonomy for future auction arrangements.
Rendering of Phillips' new exhibition space in the WKCDA Tower
M+ Museum, a centrepiece of West Kowloon Cultural District
Phillips’ new headquarters was designed by world-renowned Swiss architectural firm, Herzog & de Meuron, in partnership with TPF Farells and Arup. The facility will span more than 48,000 square feet across six floors – including three lower retail floors, two upper floors of exhibition space and one floor of office space. Another highlight of the structure is a 14-metre-tall glass window facade overlooking Victoria Harbour, and will provide natural light for optimal viewing of artworks.
These features above will allow the international auction house to further accommodate global market demands and its commitment in the Asia-Pacific region.
A permanent exhibition space and saleroom would also save cost on renting the venue and more flexibility on holding year-round auctions and events. In previous editions, Phillips held auctions and exhibition previews at the JW Marriott Hotel in Admiralty; while Christie's mainly focused on the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre (HKCEC).
The permanent auction hall and exhibition space of Phillips' new headquarters would mean more time can be spent on the venue's layout. For example, the way to display each lot and position arrangement of the auctioneer can be redesigned to match the interactive live auction.
In the past, Phillips Hong Kong's auctions were held at the JW Marriott Hotel in Admiralty
Rendering of Phillips' new Asia-Pacific headquarters in the WKCDA Tower
Phillips’ Executive Chairman, Edward Dolman, was enthusiastic about the move.
“This long-planned investment in a new headquarters for Phillips Asia reflects and reaffirms our confidence in the region, and further cements Phillips’ important position in the Asian market,” he said.
WKCDA’s CEO, Betty Fung Ching Suk-yee, agreed.
“We believe that Phillips’ new home in the district is poised to become a worldwide destination for collectors in Hong Kong, Asia and beyond. This momentous new chapter speaks to our long-term commitment to local, regional and international arts and cultural development,” said Fung.
Christie's new Asia-Pacific headquarters will be based in Hong Kong's The Henderson building
As Phillips and Christie's announced plans to relocate their new headquarters, the focus then turned to Sotheby's – another giant in the industry. It is reported that Sotheby's also has plans to relocate its Hong Kong headquarters from Pacific Place in Admiralty to Wong Chuk Hang.
Located in the Southern District of Hong Kong Island, Wong Chuk Hang has attracted many creative industries and galleries in recent years.
Art Intelligence Global (AIG), an international art consulting company, was established by two prominent Contemporary Art rainmakers formerly from Sotheby's – Yuki Terase and Amy Cappellazzo. They also chose to locate their Hong Kong headquarters in Wong Chuk Hang – an increasingly desired location for creative industries in the city.
West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD)
The relocation plans amongst various auction houses show that the Hong Kong's art auction circle has spread from the core financial and commercial areas of Admiralty and Central to different areas of Hong Kong.
With the opening of the West Kowloon Cultural District and M+ Museum, will the West Kowloon Cultural District attract even more auction houses in the future? Will it become a major venue for Modern and Contemporary Art exhibitions?
Time will tell, and we at The Value are eager to find out.