M+ Museum

Herzog & de Meuron's M+ museum completes in Hong Kong

Construction has completed on the M+ museum of visual culture in Hong Kong's West Kowloon Cultural District designed by Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron in collaboration with architecture studio Farrells.

Standing on the coast of Hong Kong's Victoria Harbour, the museum dedicated to visual art, design, architecture and moving image is set to open at the end of 2021.

Herzog-de Meuron's M+ museum
Herzog & de Meuron's M+ museum is shaped like an inverted T

Designed by Herzog & de Meuron and Farrells, the museum contains 33 galleries along with several shops, multi-purpose halls, restaurants, cafes, a research centre and offices.

It consists of two volumes – one vertical and one horizontal – that intersect to form the shape of an inverted T.

Interior of the M+ museum
The interior is divided by an atrium. Photo by Kevin Mak

The three-storey horizontal volume will contain the majority of the public facilities with the main entrance and foyer on the ground floor.

The entrance foyer is surrounded by four enclosed spaces containing a shop, lecture space, resource centre and gallery space and diagonally cut by a lightwell that contains the museum's main circulation.

Concrete interior
The building has a largely concrete interior. Photo by Kevin Mak

The floor above this contains the majority of the gallery spaces, while a semi-submerged basement level contains additional gallery space along with a shop and cafe overlooking the bay.

A series of skylights above cuts through the floor plates and were designed to allow light into the main circulation spaces.

Gallery in M+ Museum
The museum will contain numerous seating area, lecture halls and galleries. Photo by Kevin Mak

Rising 12 stories above the horizontal block, which is topped with a roof garden, is a slender tower that will contain office space and be topped with restaurants, bars and a sky garden.

This tower was designed to give the museum a presence on the harbour skyline. The facades are covered in horizontal louvres that have an LED lighting system integrated on the water-facing front, which can be used as a screen to display custom-commissioned works of art or as a billboard.

Gallery in M+ Museum
Fit out is currently underway. Photo by Kevin Mak

According to Herzog & de Meuron founding partner Jacques Herzog, the building is set to become one of Asia's leading cultural destinations.

"M+ certainly has the potential to become the major visual culture museum in Asia," he said.

"It best expresses where we should go as a world culture, where diversity, equality, and access to art of all kinds are expressed from the very beginning," he continued.

"This kind of diversity and broadness is part of the DNA of M+. This makes it a museum that is very much locally inspired, but at the same time universal and open; it is for the people and visitors across the world."

M+ Museum on Hong Kong harbour
The museum was designed to be visible on Hong Kong's harbourside. Photo by Kevin Mak

The M+ museum is one of 17 cultural venues being created as part of the West Kowloon Cultural District on Hong Kong's harbourside, which was masterplanned by Foster + Partners. The first of these was a mirror-clad pavilion that cantilevers out of a hillside near the M+ Museum, which opened in 2016.

Fit out of the museum is now underway ahead of its opening at the end of the year.

Photography is by Virgile S Bertrand unless stated.

More images

M+ Museum in Hong Kong
Photo by Virgile S Bertrand
M+ Museum in Hong Kong
Photo by Virgile S Bertrand
M+ Museum in Hong Kong
Photo by Kevin Mak
M+ Museum in Hong Kong
Photo by Kevin Mak
M+ Museum in Hong Kong
Photo by Kevin Mak