Herzog & de Meuron to design M+ museum
in Hong Kong


News: Swiss architecture studio Herzog & de Meuron has been selected to design a visual culture museum in Hong Kong's new West Kowloon Cultural District.

Herzog & de Meuron to design M plus museum in Hong Kong

Selected ahead of a shortlist of architects that included SANAA, Renzo Piano, Toyo Ito, Snøhetta and Shigeru Ban, Herzog & de Meuron will work alongside UK firm TFP Farrells to deliver the M+ museum on Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour, giving the city a dedicated centre for twentieth and twenty-first century art, design, architecture and film.

Herzog & de Meuron to design M plus museum in Hong Kong

M+ is scheduled to complete in 2017 and will be one of the first buildings to open in the West Kowloon Cultural District, which is being masterplanned by London office Foster + Partners and is set to contain a total of 17 cultural venues around a 14-hectare city park.

Herzog & de Meuron to design M+ museum in Hong Kong

Design critic Aric Chen was appointed curator of design and architecture for M+ last summer. He told Dezeen that the museum will help to "place Asia at the centre" of design history, rather than on the periphery as western curators have done.

Foster + Partners' masterplan for West Kowloon Cultural District
Foster + Partners' masterplan for West Kowloon Cultural District

Other venues underway in the West Kowloon Cultural District include a Chinese opera designed by Vancouver-based architect Bing Thom and Hong Kong-based architect Ronald Lu. See all our coverage of the West Kowloon Cultural District.

Herzog & de Meuron was also recently selected to design the new National Library of Israel, after the initial competition winner was dismissed over a copyright dispute. Other new projects by the studio include a 57-storey tower for Miami and the completed Messe Basel exhibition centre. See more architecture by Herzog & de Meuron.

Here's a short statement from Herzog & de Meuron:

Herzog & de Meuron win competition to design M+

The West Kowloon Cultural District Authority has appointed Herzog & de Meuron to design the new building for M+. Based on the recommendation of an international selection jury, Herzog & de Meuron were selected ahead of five other short-listed architecture firms. M+ is the new museum for visual culture in Hong Kong, focusing on 20th and 21st century art, design, architecture and moving image. The building will be situated on the waterfront of Victoria Harbour at the edge of a planned 14-hectare park. It will be one of the first projects to be completed in the West Kowloon Cultural District, and a key venue in creating interdisciplinary exchange between the visual arts and the performing arts in Asia.

  • Rolf

    Beautifully understated. It fits the HK skyline well.

    • KKKK

      Sorry to disagree, but it doesn’t, and it just looks a bit like a tomb stone to be honest. Anyway, I’m sure it will look radically different from now when it’s built and I do look forward to seeing it!

      • Reg

        Given that there will be at least ten more similar venues cramped on the West Kowloon art area, it’s better to be modest instead of screaming “I’m special” and looking awkwardly misfit in the geographical context. But I also need to agree with you, it is not the best work from Herzog & de Meuron, probably because of the project budget.

  • pesh

    The first picture is not a great choice, do you see the buildings in the background making a middle finger like I do?

  • David

    I don’t see anything outstanding about this. Maybe it’s all in the details.

  • zizi

    Ikea shelf, nice.

  • Nicole

    So Hong Kong continues to be designed by people not from Hong Kong. Or even Asian. Isn't it enough that Foster is designing the whole cultural district?

  • Nicole

    How ironic that a museum meant to "place Asia at the centre" of design history isn't even being designed by Asians. Embarassing.

  • Desk

    It looks Japanese, why didn’t SANAA get this one?

    • KKKK

      Because SANNA is the only Japanese architect firm in the world, they are too busy working in Japan.

  • papou

    Great concept in itself but the integration with skyscrapers in the backgroung bothers me. I’d have expected something more organic.

  • Drone

    The current building of MoMA is designed by a Japanese architect – Yoshio Taniguchi – but the museum for sure isn’t Japanese or Asian. A museum’s mission is most importantly carried out by its contents, not its container. There were three Japanese architects in the running, and they shouldn’t have had any advantage or disadvantage in the competition, hopefully.

  • ajtaberner

    Is it just me, or does the cluster of buildings in the first image resemble someone giving the middle finger!?

  • T.,T

    It looks like OMA to me, funny that some never see it’s H&deM.

  • I would like to understand more about the project, it’s difficult to judge just from these images.

    Are there any conceptual diagrams we can see?

  • Snow Den

    Look like an OMA rip off from 20 years ago (ZKM). Hong Kong deserves what it gets – Asian or not.

    Second hand droppings will do fine here in HK – nobody will notice. And yes, to Chinese people it does look like a tombstone but who cares about cultural sensitivity anyway.

  • SANAA would be better suited for this project than another Herzog & de Meuron scheme.

  • I like the idea of creating this visual culture museum, accordingly, to help place Asia at the centre. Since H&deM is a Swiss architectural company, how would they purely incorporate the “Asian design” to make this museum stand out?

  • Sundial

    The references to the local skyline and the “Found Space” by H&dM is stretching way too far, my goodness. I am impressed on how wordings have been elevated by the architects. Check out my arguments here: http://artswise.blogspot.hk/2013/07/sanctifying-g

  • Acissej

    Don’t think it’s a great design in itself, looks undesigned at all. Agree with Nicole, these brand name architects are not as challenged as the locals who are trying to make it.

    You pay big money to these architects just to have the name engraved on the tombstone and not for the design itself!