Construction of Herzog & de Meuron's M+ museum begins
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Construction of Herzog & de Meuron's M+ museum begins in Hong Kong

News: construction is now underway on M+, a new museum of visual culture in Hong Kong's West Kowloon Cultural District designed by Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron.

A ceremony on 29 January marked the ground breaking of the 60,000-square-metre museum dedicated to art, design, architecture and film, which is now scheduled for completion in 2018.

Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron won a competition in 2013 to design the building, ahead of an impressive shortlist that also included SANAA, Renzo Piano, Toyo Ito, Snøhetta and Shigeru Ban.

The architects are working alongside UK firm Farrells to deliver it on Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour. It will be one of the first completed projects in the Foster + Partners-planned West Kowloon Cultural District, which will eventually comprise 17 cultural venues around a 14-hectare park.

Construction of the Xiqu Centre, a venue for Chinese opera designed by Bing Thom Architects, is already in progress.

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Herzog & de Meuron's design is made up of two components – a semi-transparent tower housing a research centre, shops and restaurants, and a horizontal slab filled with exhibition galleries.

"M+ is not just another museum," said Carrie Lam, chairman of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority . "It is a clear demonstration of a future for contemporary art in Hong Kong, and underscores the commitment of the government to enhance Hong Kong's position as an international art and culture metropolis."

Doryun Chong has already been appointed chief curator of M+, while Aric Chen is the curator of design and architecture. In an interview with Dezeen Chen said, that unlike western alternatives, the museum will help to "place Asia at the centre" rather than on the periphery of design history.