30th March 2021: M+ has reached the important milestone marking the completion of construction of the museum building. With the Occupation Permit for the museum building obtained on 24 December 2020, M+ is set to open to the public at the end of 2021.
Designed by a global team of the world-renowned architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron in partnership with TFP Farrells and Arup, the M+ building is set to become a new addition to the global arts and cultural landscape and a new international architectural icon. Located in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District on the Victoria Harbour waterfront provides a permanent space for M+, the first global museum of contemporary visual culture in Asia dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design, and architecture, moving image, and Hong Kong visual culture of the twentieth- and twenty
The commanding architectural form consists of monumental horizontal and vertical volumes—an expansive podium and a strikingly slender tower—reflecting the architects’ reading of the unique typologies of Hong Kong’s architectural landscape and their sensitivity to local urban conditions. Beneath the building site lies the MTR Airport Express and Tung Chung Line. While the pre-existing site condition presents a challenge to design and construction, it has also become a point of departure for the M+ building. The excavation around the railway tunnels produces a ‘found space’ that provides an anchor for the building for hosting dynamic and rotating installations. The 65,000 square-metre M+ building houses 17,000 square meters of exhibition space across thirty-three galleries. It also includes three cinemas, a Mediatheque, a Learning Hub, a Research Centre, museum shops, restaurants, a tea and coffee bar, a Members Lounge, and office spaces, with a Roof Garden that commands spectacular views of Victoria Harbour. Most galleries are arranged on a large podium level on the second floor offering visitors a fluid, interconnected experience of the exhibitions. The tower defines a visual dialogue with the urban landscape of Hong Kong. The podium and tower are united as concrete structures clad in ceramic tiles that reflect the changing conditions of light and weather while standing out from nearby glass and steel skyscrapers. The tower facade also features an LED system for the display of content related to the museum, making a distinctive contribution to the city’s vibrant night-time environment.
Museum staff have moved into and started to activate the M+ building and the Conservation and Storage Facility (CSF). Preparations including environmental stabilization, space fit-outs, the move of permanent collections and the installation of collection works and objects have commenced with a view to opening the M+ to the public at the end of 2021.
Betty Fung, Acting Chief Executive Officer of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority underscores the significance of the M+ building for both the West Kowloon Cultural District and Hong Kong. ‘I believe that M+ will become one of the most iconic architectural landmarks in Hong Kong and a must-visit cultural landmark for local residents and tourists in the future. The completion of M+, together with that of the Xiqu Centre, Freespace and the Art Park in 2019, marks an important milestone of the West Kowloon Cultural District project which is moving into an exciting new phase of development.’
Suhanya Raffel, Museum Director, M+, emphasizes the importance of the completion of M+’s construction journey. ‘This is a major milestone for the museum. As we mark the building completion, our opening preparations are in full swing. We have moved into our permanent home, and I am thrilled to be able to say we can soon welcome visitors from Hong Kong and beyond to M+.’
Jacques Herzog, Founding Partner, Herzog & de Meuron, articulates the ambition for the design and realization of the M+ building. ‘M+ certainly has the potential to become the major visual culture museum in Asia. It best expresses where we should go as a world culture, where diversity, equality, and access to the art of all kinds are expressed from the very beginning. This kind of diversity and broadness is part of the DNA of M+. This makes it a museum that is very much locally inspired, but at the same time universal and open; it is for the people and visitors across the world.’
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