Building M+: The Museum and Architecture Collection



We’ve waited a long time for news on progress of Hong Kong’s M+ Museum in the developing West Kowloon Cultural District. Although the foundation has not yet been laid and an opening is still several years away, what we can take a peek at is the winning design by Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron, with TFP Farrells and Ove Arup & Partners HK .

The winning architectural design for the future museum, plus the other five shortlisted designs proposals — including Kazuyo Sejima + Ryue Nishizawa/SANAA; Renzo Piano Building Workshop; Shigeru Ban Architects + Thomas Chow Architects; SNØHETTA; and Toyo Ito & Associates, Architects + Benoy Limited — are on exhibition now at ArtisTree.

The exhibition reveals the ongoing development of the 60,000 square-metre M+ building as it progresses towards its scheduled completion in late 2017 as well as showcasing the first acquisitions and donations to the M+ architecture collection in the fifth M+ Mobile exhibition. The preview of the museum’s growing architectural collection is the first of its kind in Asia. Over 100 works and materials, many previously unseen, by more than 35 architects, firms and artists from Hong Kong, China, Asia and beyond, dating from the 1920s until now, are on display. And you thought M+ was just an art museum? Think again. “When people talk about the content they do tend to talk about it as an art museum”, says museum director Dr. Lars Nittve. “But it’s a museum of visual culture. It’s art, architecture, design and moving image”, he stresses.

In its first 10 months of collecting architecture, M+ has acquired, or is currently in the process of acquiring, hundreds of architectural models, drawings, photographs, installations, videos and other materials that help document, uncover and interpret the 20th and 21st century global narratives of architecture from the perspectives of Hong Kong, China and Asia. “We show architectural material and an art collection that has reverence for and dialogue with architecture”, explains Nittve. “Architecture is a central aspect of visual culture. We live in architecture; it shapes our lives.”

The selection of works previewed in ‘Building M+: The Museum and Architecture Collection’ describes the museum’s initial emphasis on architecture from post-World War II Hong Kong and contemporary China. “Sometimes you hear Hong Kong doesn’t have such great architecture”, says Nittve. “It’s untrue. There is lots. We want to show how much great architecture there is, and has been, in Hong Kong over the last 30-40 years. Some are gone but some are still so embedded in the city that you can’t see them. You have to go out and find them.” Or come to the exhibition instead for an eye-opener.

Represented in the show will be important Hong Kong architects including Chung Wah Nan, Tao Ho, Eric Lye Kum-chew, Jackson Wong Chack-sang and Rocco Yim; mainland Chinese architects/artists and firms Atelier FCJZ (Yungho Chang), Ai Weiwei, JIAKUN ARCHITECTS (Liu Jiakun), MAD (Ma Yansong, Dang Qun, Yosuke Hayano), OPEN Architecture (Li Hu and Huang Wenjing), Urbanus and Studio Pei-Zhu; as well as architects ranging from Frank Lloyd Wright and Paul Rudolph to Steven Holl, Bernard Tschumi, and Office for Metropolitan Architecture (Rem Koolhaas and Elia Zenghelis).

In conjunction with the exhibition, M+ will also host a series of free public programmes on architecture as well as guided tours and workshops. Hop along to ArtisTree for your architecture fix.

Building M+: The Museum and Architecture Collection at ArtisTree
1/F, Cornwall House
Taikoo Place, Island East
10 January- 9 February 2014
Open daily 10am- 8pm









Images from top to bottom: Exhibition view; Dr Lars Nittve in front of the winning design by Herzog & de Meuron; Architecture model of Herzog & de Meuron design; MAP Office (HK), ‘Homescapes’ 2006, ; HK artist Stanley Wong and Fitch & Cheung’s Peak Tower Model (1967); M+ Curator of Design and Architecture, Aric Chen; Study model for Steven Holl Architect’s Linked Hybrid, 2004-2005; ‘Immuring’, three full scale corian facade prototypes for Lunar House by davidclovers (HK) with C.E.B. Reas (USA); Drawing of Exchange Square I, II & III by Palmer & Turner (HK)/ Remo Riva (HK).

Create a website or blog at