M+ Museum in Hong Kong announces 2021 opening

M+ Museum in Hong Kong announces 2021 opening

Herzog and de Meuron’s much-anticipated design completes, as the Hong Kong visual culture museum sets its sights on a 2021 opening

The awaited M+ visual culture museum in Hong Kong designed by Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron will open in 2021, it has been announced. The structure – construction now complete – has drawn considerable attention since plans were first announced almost a decade ago.

Located in Hong Kong’s West Kowloon Cultural District, M+ is the first global museum of contemporary visual culture in Asia dedicated to collecting, exhibiting, and interpreting visual art, design, architecture, and moving image. There will also be a curatorial emphasis on Hong Kong visual culture from across the last two centuries. The museum has already produced a number of off-site and satellite exhibitions, and even an international symposium, but the completion of its ‘forever home’ on the Victoria Harbour waterfront is an anticipated development, with the monumental structure long-lauded as one of the museum’s most impressive attributes.

M+ Museum facade in Hong Kong, as featured from street view

The museum – with a total footprint of 65,000 sq m, including 17,000 sq m of exhibition space across 33 galleries – is shaped like a ‘T’, with horizontal and vertical volumes intersecting. The slender tower is topped by an expansive podium, offering unobstructed views of the waterfront.

The tower and a second-floor podium (housing much of the exhibition space, intended to create a seamless visitor experience) are formed from concrete structures clad in ceramic tiles that reflect changing light and weather conditions. This is a departure from the predominantly glass and steel façades favoured by nearby skyscrapers. The tower façade also features an LED display system, which will broadcast content from and related to the museum, adding a sense of interactivity to the already electric Hong Kong skyline.

Jacques Herzog, founding partner of Herzog & de Meuron, says M+ is ‘locally inspired, but at the same time universal and open; it is for the people and visitors across the world’. He articulates that diversity is intrinsic to the museum’s DNA. ‘[The museum] best expresses where we should go as a world culture, where diversity, equality, and access to art of all kinds are expressed from the very beginning.’

Herzog & de Meuron – in collaboration with TFP Farrells and Arup – won the coveted design project against keen competition (think: Snøhetta, Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Toyo Ito & Associates) in 2013. §

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