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 The six shortlisted architectural firms for the M+, project in West Kowloon
Shortlisted Architectural Firms For West Kowloon Museum Announced - ArtLyst Article image

Shortlisted Architectural Firms For West Kowloon Museum Announced

10-12-2012
 
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The six shortlisted architectural firms for the M+, project in West Kowloon, scheduled for completion in 2017, have been announced. This is an ambitious project. 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 of the Victoria Harbour at the edge of a 14-hectare park, it will be one of 17 core arts and cultural venues in the West Kowloon Cultural District. M+ will be the 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 collection of visual culture from Hong Kong, across 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 and 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 the future detailed design.

Mr Michael Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of WKCDA said, “Major architects from Hong Kong and across the world are vying to collaborate for the opportunity to work on the design of M+ and this is a fantastic line up of talented architects. We have a unique architectural brief for M+ as it will be a very special institution, a leader in its field in Asia and globally and a world class museum for the city providing essential space for Hong Kong’s artists and arts community. Hong Kong will have a new museum that it can be proud of."

Dr Lars Nittve, Executive Director of M+ said, "We are thrilled with this phenomenal shortlist. Our concept for M+ is a museum built from the inside out around its content and core values. I am really looking forward to seeing designs that reflect this, that respond to the unique needs of a museum for visual culture here and beyond, and a design worthy of Hong Kong’s fast growing cultural scene.”

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 collection of visual culture from Hong Kong, across 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 and back-of-house where learning is prioritised.

The six shortlisted teams are:

Herzog & de Meuron + TFP Farrells

Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA

Renzo Piano Building Workshop

Shigeru Ban Architects + Thomas Chow Architects

SNOHETTA

Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects + Benoy Limited

Mrs Lam said, “The shortlist of design teams is phenomenal by any international standards. M+ 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.”

Between now and the opening of these first buildings, WKCDA is committed to providing a platform for arts communities to interact, engage, learn and develop and will stage an exciting programme of events in the new year, heralded by an outdoor concert and street performances festival Freespace Fest this weekend.

Also in the news, The District’s first cultural event was the West Kowloon Bamboo Theatre which was staged at the future site of the Xiqu Centre near Canton Road during the Chinese New Year in 2012 and will be repeated on a larger scale in 2013 due to overwhelming demand. Mobile M+, a series of pop-up “nomadic" exhibitions curated by M+ scheduled to occur leading up to the opening of the M+ museum in 2017 was launched in May with Mobile M+: Yau Ma Tei, an exhibition of interventions by Hong Kong artists within the museum’s future neighbourhood. The next exhibition, Inflation! will open in March and run through to May to coincide with the first edition of Art Basel in Hong Kong while in January M+ will collaborate with the Asia Art Archive to present new work by Song Dong for an exhibition at Artistree.

The two lead architects, Bing Thom in Vancouver and Ronald Lu of Hong Kong, have formed a joint venture partnership Bing Thom Architects and Ronald Lu & Partners Company Ltd and will work with the Authority over the next 4 years to design and deliver a world-class facility for the preservation, development and promotion of this important art form of Chinese cultural heritage in Hong Kong.

The Xiqu Centre will be the first of 17 core arts and cultural venues to be opened within the District. The venue will provide a platform for the Xiqu communities to interact, develop, produce the finest examples of Cantonese and other Chinese opera performances, attract new audiences, educate and collaborate with and host international cultural programmes. 

Occupying a prime site of 13,800 square metres at the eastern edge of the District on the corner of Canton Road and Austin Road West, the centre will provide a gateway of access to the Cultural District. Early concept designs illustrate that the building will provide a striking entrance, a lantern for the District, employing the Moongate traditional Chinese motif and a dynamic treatment of the facade. Its flow or “qi” is expressed with curvilinear paths and forms. The architecture incorporates a generous amount of public leisure space, in addition to 2,000 square metres of training and education facilities, two superbly designed auditoria for 1,100 and 400 seats (the latter to be developed in phase 2) respectively and a traditional Tea House for performances for audiences up to 280.

Bing Thom and Ronald Lu have a wealth of relevant experience in the design of performing arts and Chinese opera venues including: Ronald Lu & Partners’ design for the first purpose-designed Chinese opera facilities in Hong Kong, the Ko Shan Theatre Annex, Hong Kong; Bing Thom Architects’ ongoing project of Shijiazhuang Grand Theatre; The Chan Centre for the Performing Arts at UBC, Vancouver, (completed in 1997) and; The Arena Stage Expansion in Washington DC (completed in 2010).

Mrs Carrie Lam, Chairman of the WKCDA Board said the Government is firmly committed to providing world-class arts and cultural facilities in the West Kowloon Cultural District, “The West Kowloon Cultural District is one of the world’s largest arts and cultural projects which will raise awareness of the rich performing arts scene in Hong Kong both locally and internationally. The positioning of the Xiqu Centre within the district will enable multi-disciplinary dialogue and interaction between Xiqu and other performing arts. By building this cultural hub, we are investing both in our future and our heritage, to celebrate Hong Kong’s unique cultural identity.”

Mr Bing Thom said on behalf of Bing Thom Architects and Ronald Lu & Partners, “The commission for Hong Kong holds a special place in my heart, a true homecoming for me – my first building in my birthplace. It is an honour to return to design a home for this most authentic Chinese performing art, the first building for the West Kowloon Cultural District. The world is fast becoming a blend of Eastern and Western cultures and Hong Kong captures this magic by nurturing and celebrating Xiqu tradition. The Xiqu Centre design is a contemporary expression of a traditional Chinese opera building to show our wonderful art form to the world. The West Kowloon Cultural District gives Hong Kong talent its world stage!” 

The design team was picked unanimously by a Jury Panel made up of prominent leaders in the relevant professional and cultural sectors in Hong Kong, China and internationally: Mr. Cui Kai, Architect, China; Prof. Odile Decq, Architect/ Urbanist, France; Mr. Jordi Farrando, Architect, Spain; Mr. Lee Shing See, WKCDA Development Committee member and Chairman of the Steering Committee and Engineer, Hong Kong, China; Mr. Mao Chun Fai, Fredric, Theatre Director, Hong Kong, China; Mr. Pau Shiu Hung, Architect, Hong Kong, China and; Mr. Yuen Siu Fai, Vice Chairman of the Chinese Artists Association of Hong Kong.


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