The museum is part of a wider project to make West Kowloon, Hong Kong’s bustling Victoria Harbour district, the cultural centre of the entire region. In fact, inside the large green space, the Art Park, other important cultural institutions have been inaugurated in recent years: the XIQU Centre for Theatre and Performing Arts and the HKPM Hong Kong Palace Museum of Chinese culture.
The hub designed by the Swiss architects will house some of the world’s largest visual arts collections, with thirty-three exhibition galleries, three theatres, a media library and service areas including a restaurant and a consultation centre.
The project is divided into two volumes, a horizontal one housing all the exhibition spaces and on which a large terrace has been designed to host outdoor events and seminars, a very important space in this pandemic period, and a vertical one containing all the administrative spaces.
As usual, Herzog & De Meuron focus on the building’s shell: in this case, the façade is transformed into a large display on which to share messages, information or performances. Another interesting feature of the project is the underground space. The building is constructed on an old railway line, which the designers decided not to conceal but rather to include in the space and exhibit as a work of industrial archaeology.
The M+ Museum is expected to open to the public before the end of the year, according to statements by the managing director. We wonder whether, in the climate of great tensions with China in which Hong Kong now finds itself, this great hub will also exhibit the great Asian artists who have exposed themselves politically.