The Cultural Affairs Bureau (IC, from the Portuguese acronym) hosted a press conference to announce the selection of the location of the new Macao Central Library and present a number of significant cultural projects on 10 September. The press conference was attended by the President of IC, Mok Ian Ian, the Vice President of IC, Leong Wai Man, and the Head of the Department of Public Library Management, Loi Chi Pang, who introduced the selected location for the new Macao Central Library and the proposal of its conceptual design, as well as the progress of the Black Box Theatre project at the Macao Cultural Centre, and the partial opening of the site of the former Iec Long Firecrackers Factory and the Lai Chi Vun shipyards area. IC is committed to promote a number of projects, in order to provide more leisure and recreational spaces for the public.
The development of the new Macao Central Library has been a very significant project for the Macao SAR Government. The Government has been taking into account the different opinions of the public regarding the selected location of the new Macao Central Library, some of which expressed interest in reassessing the feasibility of building the new Macao Central Library in the land plot of the former Hotel Estoril. After analysis and evaluation, it was found that the construction of the new Macao Central Library in the land plot of the former Hotel Estoril is more rational and effective. In order to provide more demonstrations of support to the selected location, the Government contacted more than ten architectural design teams at home and abroad that have won awards in international architectural design and have designed outstanding libraries or similar cultural facilities, and invited four of these teams who are interested in participating in the library project to submit proposals of conceptual design.
The location chosen for the Library is connected to the cultural zones, giving full play to its diverse functions
Four internationally renowned architectural design teams from The Netherlands, Finland, Ireland and Switzerland, respectively, were invited to submit proposals of conceptual design which share the following common features: iconic exterior design, the preservation of the existing mosaics, sufficient parking spaces, focus on the interactive relationship with Tap Siac Square and make full use of the landscape of the Estoril swimming pool. The proposals provide a scientific and more specific reference basis for the selection of the location of the new Macao Central Library. After a comprehensive analysis, the land plot of the former Hotel Estoril for building the new Macao Central Library may attain a gross construction area of more than 10,000 square meters, becoming the largest library in Macao. In technical architectural terms, the construction of the new Macao Central Library in the land plot of the former Hotel Estoril will be less difficult and will have a relatively low construction cost. In terms of the objective environment orientated to Tap Siac Square, the Library will have more conditions to become an iconic/emblematic cultural building from the conception point of view, as the location is adjacent to the square where cultural facilities and civic activities are concentrated, and is close to residential areas and to several schools. Therefore it provides a wider range of services, simultaneously reducing traffic pressure in the city centre. In the future, the new Macao Central Library will form a harmonious dialogue landscape with Tap Siac Square, connecting the complexes of world heritage buildings nearby and the surrounding cultural and creative spaces, giving full play to the rich and diverse functions of the library.
Citizens are welcome to express their opinions and participate in the process of construction of the new Macao Central Library
In order to understand the public’s opinions on the future new Macao Central Library, the IC will launch the collection of opinions “The Library in My Heart – What do you expect from the library?” Citizens can express their opinions on the functions of an ideal library by email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and can drop their opinions in the opinion collection boxes located in the Macao Central Library, Taipa Library and Seac Pai Van Library, in order to participate in the process of construction of the new Macao Central Library.
IC is committed to the planning of the location of the new Macao Central Library in the land plot of the former Hotel Estoril at Tap Siac Square. The progress of the project will be announced to the public in due course.
Promote the Black Box Theatre project at the Macao Cultural Centre providing two small theatres for diversified performances
IC also introduced other projects in the press conference, among which the design works of the Black Box Theatre project at the Macao Cultural Centre, which have already been started. The Black Box Theatre will cover an area of around 2,230 square metres. On the ground floor, it will feature a multifunctional room for rehearsals and small-scale performances, a dressing room, a shower room, an unloading area, storage space and an equipment room; on the first floor there will be two small theatres with a capacity for 140 and 160 spectators, respectively, a backstage area and a quick change dressing room. The theatre will be connected to the main building of the Macao Cultural Centre. The conceptual design of the project is expected to be completed in the first half of 2021 while the construction work will be undertaken by the Land, Public Works and Transport Bureau, aiming to provide more diversified performance spaces for the cultural and artistic circles. The Black Box Theatre in the Old Court Building can be used until the new one in Macao Cultural Centre is inaugurated, being a perfect transition.
Revitalization and partial opening of the site of the former Iec Long Firecrackers Factory and the Lai Chi Vun shipyards area
In addition, IC is carrying out a study on the future revitalization and use of the site of the former Iec Long Firecrackers Factory in Taipa. In order to make good use of the land and of the ecological and cultural resources, IC plans to carry out an opening of the partial site of the former Iec Long Firecrackers Factory, retaining its architectural structures and original layout, reinforcing the damaged architectural structures, paving lanes to connect various districts, setting up recreational facilities, placing signs along the way to introduce the history of the former Factory, its architectural functions and the method of manufacturing firecrackers. After the process of the relevant land ownership is completed, the former factory will open partially to the public under safe environmental conditions. IC also intends to give priority to the restoration and revitalization of some qualified land plots in the Lai Chi Vun shipyards area, including No. X11 to X15 and X19, creating spaces that combine cultural and creative markets, a leisure square, a multifunctional activity space and a lime factory exhibition hall for the public.