AIA Hong Kong

Honour Award in Open International-HKUST Shaw Auditorium By Henning Larsen

HKUST Shaw Auditorium

Nature of Project: Auditorium
Address: Clearwater Bay, Hong Kong
Developer: Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Date of Launch: 2021-11-17
Site Area: 7,320 m2
Floor Area: 12,755 m2

The Shaw Auditorium at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is a world-class performing arts venue featuring a highly flexible, acoustically sophisticated main hall and generous social spaces for the campus community. The sustainable architectural design is an inventive response to the local sub-tropical climate and
the site’s prominent location as the new nodal point connecting the University’s southern and northern campuses. Its iconic, ring shaped facade signals its artistic and cultural programming, while its elliptical floorplan with multiple entrances makes it a welcoming landmark.


Designed to be full of life day and night, the Auditorium’s pleasant classrooms, social areas and circulation spaces encourage students to meet, study and relax. The Grand Foyer’s stepped seating also functions as a small-scale performance space. Therefore, the Shaw Auditorium is not only a destination for major events, but also a part of the campus’s daily social fabric.The reconfigurable main hall has several modes that accommodate a wide range of events, including performing arts productions, lectures and other large-scale events. A proscenium can be lowered to frame the stage for theatre and ballet performances, and the rectilinear plan creates an intimate atmosphere with optimum acoustics. The retractable raked seating can fit either 840 or 1,300 seats, or be stored away to provide an open surface for conferences, open days and exhibitions.


With its varied requirements, performing arts venues seldom can be sustainable, but the Auditorium achieved an impressive BEAM Plus Provisional Platinum status. A key feature is the facade’s cantilevered balconies that provide ample shading while minimising solar irradiance.