Monthly Highlights
Herzog & de Meuron + TFP Farrells wins the right to design M+ with simplicity and functionality  
The world’s renowned architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron in collaboration with Hong Kong’s leading practice TFP Farrells were chosen last month to design M+.

Pritzker Architecture Prize winner Herzog & de Meuron is the mastermind behind the “Bird’s Nest” National Stadium in Beijing, London’s Tate Modern and the Central Police Station compound in Hong Kong. Selected unanimously by an international Jury Panel out of six global big names, the winning design is an epitome of minimalistic concept and practical functionality, demonstrating a space of 60,000 square metres that is ideal for the contemporary visual-culture museum to display its world-class collection.

In a city full of enormous skyscrapers, M+ has been designed as a distinctly simple yet confident building with as much going on below as it does above ground. Senior Partner at the practice Jacques Herzog makes the point clear that: “For art to enter into the life of a city like Hong Kong it has to come from below, from its own foundations. Our M+ Project does exactly that, by literally emerging from the city's underground.”

The architectural duo envisioned M+ as a cultural centre for 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture and the moving image rather than a museum, providing endless possibilities for artists. Its design is a combination of a horizontal and a vertical structure. The horizontal structure holds a wide variety of spaces ranging from an underground for housing enormous installations and performance events, to individual galleries for different types of art. The vertical structure is home to administrative and educational facilities as well as restaurants and a sky garden overlooking the Victoria Harbour. The structure also plays an additional role as an outsized LED display screen for works of art.

Welcoming the result, M+ Executive Director Dr Lars Nittve said, “Herzog & de Meuron + TFP Farrells have given Hong Kong not only a museum that, in its purity and simplicity, stands out in the urban landscape, but more importantly will be extremely well-functioning, accessible and democratic. Creating a design for a museum like M+, expressing the diversity of visual culture with a global perspective but rooted in Hong Kong, is a complex task. But Herzog & de Meuron has succeeded. This unique design gives us a flagship venue which will come to represent the best of Hong Kong, Asian and international contemporary visual culture.”

Situated on the waterfront of the Victoria Harbour at the edge of the 14-hectare Park, M+ will be one of the first batch of arts and cultural venues in the WKCD to be completed in 2017. The WKCDA, together with the design team, will continue to engage the arts community to deliver a world-class museum that would make the people of Hong Kong proud.