Herzog & de Meuron
Competition
2012–2013
Project
2013–2020
Opening
2021

M+ is not just another museum. M+ is a cultural centre for 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture, and the moving image. As such, it embraces the entire spectrum of spaces, means of display and activities related to exhibiting and viewing these media. The spaces range from the conventional white cube, reconfigurable spaces, screening rooms and multipurpose facilities to so-called third spaces and even an “Industrial Space”. It was the special request for this “Industrial Space” that motivated us to take a closer look at the specificity of the centre’s future location. How should a post-industrial space be created from vacant land?

A mere 20 years ago, the ground occupied by the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) was part of the seaport. Section by section, the land has been reclaimed from the sea and the natural harbour filled with earth. This artificial piece of land is now the construction site for the new buildings of the WKCD. What can lend authenticity to reclaimed land? Paradoxically, yet another work of engineering defines the specificity of this place: the underground tunnel of the Airport Express. Initially an obstacle that complicated planning, this distinctive feature has become the raison d’être for our project, consisting of a rough, large-scale exhibition universe that quite literally anchors the entire building in the ground. By uncovering the tunnel, a spectacular space is created for art and design, installation and performance; the excavations reveal nature of a “second order”, a “Found Space” that is a challenge to artist and curator alike, a space of unprecedented potential. Combined with an L-shaped Black Box, a reconfigurable Studio Space, direct access to the loading dock as well as a large part of the storage area, a sunken forum and (exhibition) topography have been created. These are not only tailored to the needs of art and design in the 21st century, but also set the stage for a unique art experience, inseparable from the specific character of this location.

The horizontal building hovering above this “industrial” landscape houses the more conventional display spaces. As in a city, the arrangement of all the galleries is based on an orthogonal grid. A central plaza provides direct access to the entire exhibition area. This includes not only the temporary exhibitions but also a clearly defined Anchor Room. A tall “Focus Gallery”, with two lateral bands of daylight just below the ceiling, rises out of the horizontal exhibition building and plugs into the lower part of the vertical staff and education building. A sequence of galleries is accessed from each of the four corners of the central plaza. A specific space introduces each sequence: an elongated sky-lit gallery, a courtyard with direct access to the roof terrace, a room with extensive glazing towards West Kowloon Park and an auditorium facing Victoria Harbour. They distinguish and structure the sequence of exhibition spaces, which can in turn be combined or divided into smaller units by additional third spaces. The galleries themselves may be illuminated from above or from the sides; they may be introverted or extroverted. A variety of precise openings in the façade frame views of the Artist Square, the Park and the skyline of Hong Kong Island across the harbour.

In the joint between the “Found Space” and the lifted horizontal exhibition building, there is a spacious entrance area for the public. Instead of building a solid object that blocks off access, light and views, this covered area forms a bright, welcoming platform that can be entered from all sides and levels: open and transparent yet shielded from direct sunlight. It is a forum and focal point between the West Kowloon Cultural District and the Park, the newly built Avenue and Victoria Harbour. Here, visitors encounter all the uses and activities of M+ at a single glance. Specific functions are assigned to each quadrant of the platform. The museum shop is situated in the corner next to Artist Square. The large temporary exhibition space faces the Park and is accessible directly from the main platform. Overlooking the waterfront promenade and Victoria Harbour, there is the auditorium on one side, and on the other, the glazed Learning Centre with a public courtyard leading to the rooftop terrace. Ticketing and information desks are located in the centre of the lobby. A broad diagonal opening in the floor of the platform affords a view of the excavated “Found Space”, while large ceiling cut-outs allow visitors to see the exhibition level and its intersection with the vertical building as well as a view of open skies.

The diaphanous vertical extension of the M+ building is centred on the horizontal slab of exhibition spaces. The two elements form a single entity, fused into the shape of an upside-down T. Built to the height specified in the master plan, this thin and long vertical structure provides research facilities, artist-in-residence studios and a curatorial centre where natural filtered daylight and expansive city views make researching, learning and working a special experience. A member lounge and public restaurants with panoramic views are housed on its top floors. Integrated into the sun-shading horizontal louvers of the façade facing the harbour, an LED lighting system activates the building as a coarse-grained, oversized display screen for selected or especially commissioned works of art and establishes M+ as part of the Victoria Harbour skyline.

The resulting structure is not simply anchored in its surroundings; it is also formed by them. The precise and urban, almost archaic shape reiterates the iconic character of Kowloon’s skyline on one hand, yet on the other hand, this convention is subverted by the transmitted message of the art, visible from afar, which will consequently make M+ a site of constant renewal, rather than being locked into a predefined form. This is a universal place with an inner organization whose openness and transparency make it possible to link the complexities of the content and the space in many different ways. Through its specificity, it becomes a distinctive, singular and unmistakable piece of Hong Kong. But above all, M+ is a public forum, a built platform for the exchange, encounter and activity of people and art.

Herzog & de Meuron, 2015

M+博物館是西九文化區(West Kowloon Cultural District)的一大文化中心,為20世紀和21世紀的藝術、設計、建築和動態影像的展示場所。僅僅20年前,西九文化區所處之地還是海港的一部分。一塊接一塊地填海造地,將天然港灣改造成為陸地。現在,這片人工填海的土地是西九文化區新建築的建設場地。

有意思的是,恰是另一項曾被視為場地規劃的阻礙的工程,即機場快線的地下隧道,定義了這片區域的特殊性,成為M+博物館項目設計的起點。M+博物館由外觀粗礪且規模龐大的展覽空間組成,似乎是將整個建築錨定在地面上。它在橫跨隧道上方,為藝術和設計、裝置和表演打造了一個壯美的空間。由L形的“黑盒以及可進行空間重構的展示空間(Studio Space)組成、與裝卸及倉儲區域直接相連,形成了一處下沉的展覽地形稱為“潛空間”。這不僅滿足了21世紀的藝術和設計需求,也為獨特的藝術體驗搭建了舞台,與西九文化區的獨特性相輔相成。橫跨在這種“工業”景觀上方的水準建築體則容納了更多傳統的展覧空間。

與城市的結構相似,所有展廳都基於正交網路佈置。中庭可直接通往各個展覽區,包括臨展區和明確定義的Anchor Room。高大的“焦點空間(Focus Gallery)”從橫向的展廳建築體塊上矗立起來,在天花板正下方形成了兩個側向採光帶,直連上方的豎向員工和教育建築。從中庭的4個角落可以進入各個系列的展廳。每個系列都由一個特定的空間呈現:寛闊狹長的自然光展廳、直通屋頂露臺的庭院、朝向西九藝術公園(West Kowloon Art Park)的大玻璃窗展廳和面向維多利亞港的會堂。這些特定的空間區分和構造了展覽空間順序,又可以通過其他空間組合或分割成更小的單元。展廳本身可以從上方或側面的開口處自然採光,朝藝術廣場(Artist Square)、公園和對岸港島的天際線都有各種各樣的開口。

在“潛空間”和水平抬升的展覽建築之間的連接處,設有一個寬敞的公共入口平台。該區域沒有建造遮擋交通、光線和視野的建築實體,而是形成了一個明亮、親切的平台,開放、通透,又能遮擋陽光,公眾可以從四面八方進入。平台的每個區域都有特定的功能。博物館商店位於藝術廣場旁邊的角落裡。大型臨時展覽空間面向公園,可從主平台直接進入。俯瞰海濱長廊和維多利亞港,一邊是會堂,另一邊是全玻璃外牆的“學習中心(Learning Center)”,還有一個公共庭院通向屋頂花園。

票務和諮詢台設在平台中央。平台底部有一個巨大的對角開口,可以俯瞰下沉的“潛空間”,天花上的巨大開口使參觀者既可看到展廳及其與塔樓的交界處,又可仰望天空。

M+博物館豎向大樓外部通透的體量是以水準展示空間的建築體塊為中心垂直向上延伸。兩個體塊構成一個整體,融合為一個倒T形的建築形體。細長的豎直向建築符合總體規劃中規定的高度,建築內設有研究設施、藝術家駐地工作室和策展中心,自然過濾的陽光和廣闊的城市景觀給研究、學習和工作帶來全新體驗。頂層設有視野開闊的會員休息室和公共餐廳。

LED 照明系統與面向維多利亞港正面的水準遮陽百葉系統融為一體,將建築啟動為粗顆粒的超大顯示幕,展現精選的或特別委託創作的動態影像藝術品。

由此建造的建築並不是簡單地矗立在其周邊環境中,也由周邊環境所塑造。其精心設計、具有都市感和復古感的造型,強調了九龍天際線的標誌性特徵。另一方面,這一傳統性又被其從遠處可見的藝術氣息所顛覆,這使M+博物館成為不斷更新、不斷反覆運算的場所,超脫了預先定義的形式。它既是一大公共空間,也是人與藝術交流、相遇和互動的平台。

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Building M+

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Drawings

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415_DR_2110_002_Section B
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Team

Project Team
Edman Choy (Associate, Project Director)
Kwamina Monney (Associate, Project Manager)
Stefan Goeddertz (Associate, Project Manager)
Volker Jacob (Project Manager)
Mai Komuro (Associate, Project Manager)
Maximilian Beckenbauer (Project Manager)
Arrate Abaigar Villota
Roman Aebi (Workshop)
Emmanuelle Agustoni
Farhad Ahmad
Bruno de Almeida Martins (Visualizations)
Jeanne Autran-Edorh
Mark Bähr
Tiago Baldaque
Michal Baurycza (Visualizations)
Frédéric Beaupère (Design Technologies)
Frederik Bojesen
Vincent Bourassa
Caetano Braga da Costa de Bragança
Paul Bréchignac
Alessia Catellani
Chi-Yan Chan
Emma Chan
Sonja Cheng
Massimo Corradi (Design Technologies)
Roy Coupland
Maur Dessauvage
Linxi Dong (Associate)
David Dwars
Dave Edwards
Carlos Higinio Esteban
Blanca García Gardelegui
Pablo Garrido
Luis Gisler
Paula Gonzalez
Christian Hahn
Carsten Happel (Associate)
Adriana Hernández Arteaga
Stefan Ernst Alexander Hörner
Simon Hsu
Shusuke Inoue (Design Technologies)
Sara Jiménez Núñez (Design Technologies)
Vasileios Kalisperakis (Visualizations)
Hyun Seok Kang
Ewa Kaszuba
Paul Kath
Thorsten Kemper
Martin Knüsel (Associate)
Rina Ko
Dannes Kok
Daniel Koo
Lap Chi Kwong
Isabel Labrador
John Lau
Victor Lefebvre
María Luisa León Palacios
Richard Leung
Xin Li
Jens Ljunggren
Áron Lőrincz (Visualizations)
Johnny Lui
Becky Luk
Donald Mak (Associate)
Clément Thomas Mathieu
Alfonso Miguel Caballero
Jon Morrison
Helen Ng
Tyler Noblin
Dominik Nüssen (Design Technologies)
Mònica Ors Romagosa (Associate)
Antje Paetz
Martina Palocci
Felipe Pecegueiro Curado
Svetlin Peev
Enrique Peláez
Pedro Peña Jurado
Catia Polido
Steffen Riegas (Design Technologies)
Aleris Rodgers
Eduardo Salgado Mordt
Amro Sallam
Günter Schwob (Workshop)
Iva Smrke (Associate)
Jorge Sotelo de Santiago
Magdalena Stadler
Kai Strehlke (Associate, Design Technologies)
Raha Talebi
Haotian Tang
Nuria Tejerina
Emma Thomas
Raúl Torres Martín (Visualizations)
Francesco Valente-Gorjup
Maria Vega Lopez
Tess Walraven
Fanny Wong
Human Wu

Facts

Client
West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA); Client Representative: Mr. Jeremy Stowe, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority, Hong Kong, China
Planning
For the M+ project, Herzog & de Meuron have formed a design team with TFP Farrells as local partner architect and with Arup as an engineering consultant. This global team combines wide international perspective with deep local knowledge of Hong Kong and comprehensive experience in the development of the West Kowloon Cultural District site.
M+ Consultancy JV: Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd., Basel, Switzerland; TFP Farrells, Hong Kong; Arup, Hong Kong
Design Consultant : Herzog & de Meuron Basel Ltd., Basel, Switzerland
Executive Architect : TFP Farrells, Hong Kong
Structural Engineering: Arup, Hong Kong
Mechanical Engineering: Arup, Hong Kong
Electrical Engineering: Arup, Hong Kong
Plumbing & Drainage Engineering: Arup, Hong Kong
Landscape Design: Vogt Landscape Architects, Zurich, Switzerland
Specialist / Consulting
Acoustic Consulting: Arup, Hong Kong
Facade Engineering: Arup, Hong Kong
Traffic Consulting: Arup, Hong Kong
Facade Media Screen Design: iArt, Basel, Switzerland
Art Storage & Conservation Consulting: Prevart, Zurich, Switzerland
Signage Design: Cartlidge Levene, London, United Kingdom
Signage Excecution: Atelier Pacific, Hong Kong
Lighting Engineering: Arup, Hong Kong
Building Data
Site Area: 269'097 sqft, 25'000 sqm
Links
www.wkcda.hk

Bibliography

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Herzog & de Meuron 2003-2019. (Vol.2)“, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 12.2019.

Luis Fernández-Galiano (Ed.): “Arquitectura Viva Monografias. Herzog & de Meuron 2013-2017.” Vol. No. 191-192, Madrid, Arquitectura Viva SL, 12.2016.

Location