• WKCD marks the construction of M+ museum with planting of commemorative Time Capsule

    24 February 2015

    (29 January 2015, Hong Kong) A time capsule filled with artworks by local children was placed today at the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) marking the countdown to the completion of the M+ building which is scheduled for 2018.

    Following commencement of the construction of the Xiqu Centre – a world-class art venue for Xiqu performances – the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) recently started piling for the second flagship art and cultural facility: the M+ museum.

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    View from the harbour © Herzog & de Meuron Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron and West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

    With a gross floor area of 60,000 square metres, the striking museum building, designed by renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron in partnership with Hong Kong-based TFP Farrells and Ove Arup & Partners Hong Kong, will provide a magnificent new attraction for Hong Kong. Focusing on 20th and 21st century visual art, design and architecture, and moving image from Hong Kong, Mainland China, Asia and beyond, M+ will be one of the largest museums of modern and contemporary visual culture in the world.

    Mrs Carrie Lam, Chairman of the Board of WKCDA, officiated at the M+ Time Capsule Ceremony today at the M+ construction site overlooking Victoria Harbour.

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    (From left) Managing Director of Bachy Soletanche Group Julien Landrot, WKCDA’s Executive Director, M+, Dr Lars Nittve, Director of Ove Arup & Partners HK Paul Tsang, , Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Betty Fung, Senior Partners of Herzog & de Meuron Ascan Mergenthaler, Chairman of WKCDA’s Museum Committee Victor Lo, Senior Partners of HdM Jacques Herzog, WKCDA’s Board Chairman Carrie Lam, Senior Partners of Herzog & de Meuron Pierre de Meuron, Chairman of the Jury Panel of M+ Design Competition Professor Colin Fournier, Vice Chairman of the WKCDA Board Ronald Arculli, Chief Executive Officer Michael Lynch, Partner of Herzog & de Meuron Wim Walschap, Director of TFP Farrells Gavin Erasmus. WKCDA’s Chief Operating Officer Duncan Pescod, and WKCDA’s Executive Director, Project Delivery, Dr Chan Man-wai officiate at the ceremony.

    In the Ceremony, artworks by six primary students from Yaumati Catholic Primary School (Hoi Wang Road) and Yaumati Kaifong Association School, depicting their wishes and aspirations for the M+ museum, were put to a time capsule. Other items to be contained in the capsule later include personal messages to a future Hong Kong generation from Mrs Carrie Lam, WKCDA’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Michael Lynch and Executive Director, M+, Dr Lars Nittve, along with a range of contemporary and local items including art newspaper of the date, photos of M+ construction site in different angles, a piece of accessory/ building materials taken from the sample façade of M+ building, etc. The time capsule will be placed on the site, to be uncovered and unsealed 100 years hence.

    Officiating guests included the Vice Chairman of the WKCDA Board Mr Ronald Arculli, Chairman of WKCDA’s Museum Committee Mr Victor Lo, Permanent Secretary for Home Affairs Mrs Betty Fung, Chairman of the Jury Panel of M+ Design Competition Professor Colin Fournier, Senior Partners of Herzog & de Meuron Mr Jacques Herzog, Mr Pierre de Meuron and Mr Ascan Mergenthaler, Partner of Herzog & de Meuron Mr Wim Walschap, Director of TFP Farrells Mr Gavin Erasmus, Director of Ove Arup & Partners HK Mr Paul Tsang, Managing Director of Bachy Soletanche Group Mr Julien Landrot, as well as WKCDA’s Chief Executive Officer Mr Michael Lynch, Chief Operating Officer Mr Duncan Pescod, Executive Director, M+, Dr Lars Nittve and Executive Director, Project Delivery, Dr Chan Man-wai.

    “Today marks a watershed moment for M+, which is the second landmark art venue being built in the WKCD, after the Xiqu Centre which started works in the fall of 2013. I am very glad to see that Hong Kong’s vision for a new cultural district is one step closer to becoming a reality.” said Mrs Carrie Lam, Chairman of the WKCDA Board. “M+ is not just another museum. 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.”

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    View from the Park © Herzog & de Meuron Courtesy of Herzog & de Meuron and West Kowloon Cultural District Authority

    “M+ will be firmly rooted in its superb location to provide a Hong Kong perspective with a global vision,” said Mr Michael Lynch, CEO of WKCDA. “Thanks to the outstanding architecture team led by the famous Swiss firm Herzog & de Meuron, the M+ building will stand out as a world famous landmark in the Kowloon urban landscape.”

    Located at the centre of the WKCD and the edge of the WKCD Park, the M+ building is made up of two main components – a horizontal slab and a vertical tower. The semi-transparent vertical plane, housing a research centre, a curatorial centre and retail, dining and entertainment facilities on the top floors, will stand above an impressive horizontal slab offering a diversity of well-considered exhibition spaces and galleries, fused into the shape of an upside down ‘T’.

    The ground and lower levels will provide easy access to the WKCD Park and other facilities, alongside a learning centre, a moving image centre, museum shops and cafes, creator’s studios, and back-of-house functions. Conservation and storage facilities will be accommodated in an ancillary building to the north.

    Dr Lars Nittve, Executive Director, M+, said, “The time capsule ceremony gives us a beautiful opportunity to stop and reflect on what has been achieved thus far in the M+ project. We have achieved some extraordinary triumphs despite facing many challenges of creating a world class museum. We have established a devoted and talented museum team, the collection is internationally celebrated and we have engaged the Hong Kong public with a range of diverse and exciting exhibitions. In the years to come when we move into our permanent home it will provide Hong Kong with a unique museum for us all to be proud of.”

    Together with the Xiqu Centre, the Park (including Arts Pavilion and Freespace) and the Artist Square Development Area which are now in the planning and design stage, M+ will be in the first batch of facilities in the WKCD.

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