Text description provided by the architects. 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, it 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-first centuries.
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 lie 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 metres 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 stabilisation, 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.