West Kowloon Cultural District launches architectural competition for M+

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority have launcehed the design competition for M+, Hong Kong’s future museum for visual culture due for completion in 2017

The scale of the museum building alone, at around 60,000 square metres, will be on par with the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Situated on the waterfront in Kowloon at the edge of a 14-hectare park, it will be one of 17 core arts and cultural venues and is envisaged as a flagship hub for visual culture from the 20th and 21st century, alongside major performance spaces, creating interdisciplinary exchange between the visual arts and the performing arts in the city.

The physical design of M+ will be shaped around the museum’s core values. Principally it will be a museum for the Hong Kong people, firmly rooted in the location and its unique culture, providing a Hong Kong perspective, with a global vision, expanding to other regions of China, Asia and the rest of the world. It will provide space for artists to meet, exhibit and experiment. It will house a world-class permanent visual culture collection of Hong Kong, Chinese, Asian and beyond in all its forms, providing and presenting multiple flexible platforms for multidisciplinary programming, exploring art, design, architecture and the moving image, celebrating the fluidity between the art forms that is characteristic of Asia’s cultural ecology. M+ also aims to complement the ‘white cubes’ and ‘black boxes’ of the contemporary art museum with ‘third spaces’ – new formats of interactive space and new interfaces between public space an d back-of-house where learning is prioritised.

Facilities will include over 15,000 square metres of exhibition space and 14,000 square metres for conservation and storage, an education centre, an archive library and bookstore, theatres and screen facilities, artist-in-residence studios and outdoor green spaces, subject to future detailed design.

Submissions will be assessed by a world-class panel of jurors including : Eve Blau, Adjunct Professor, Graduate School of Design, Harvard University; Kathy Halbreich, Associate Director of Museum of Modern Art, New York; William Lim, leading Hong Kong architect; Victor Lo, Chairman of Board of Directors, Hong Kong Design Centre; Leslie Lu, leading Hong Kong architect; Rafael Moneo, the Pritzker prize winning Spanish architect; Lars Nittve, Executive Director, M+; and Uli Sigg, a leading collector of Chinese contemporary art.

In December up to six design teams will be shortlisted and will be invited to submit schematic concept designs. A final appointment is expected in the Summer of 2013.