M+ Museum

Aerial view of M+ Museum; Image by Kevin Mak

Sitting on the waterfront of Victoria Harbour, M+ Museum is an art and cultural hub to support the city’s creative economy. The museum is one of the 17 cultural projects completed in the West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) on Hong Kong’s harbourside.

Inverted T-Shaped Mass

The building mass resembled an inverted T shape, consisting of a large podium and a slim tower centred on the horizontal slab. The tower provides research facilities, artist-in-residence studios, a curatorial centre, lounge and public restaurants with panoramic views. Its façade incorporates an LED lighting system that transforms the building into a massive display screen that lights up and reiterates the iconic character of Kowloon’s skyline.

The three-storey concrete podium begins at ground level and rises into a roof garden. It functions as diverse and flexible galleries surrounding an internal central plaza. A sequence of galleries is accessible from each of the four corners of the central plaza. The floor slab is diagonally cut by a lightwell that contains the museum’s main natural lighting circulation inside the podium mass.

Diagonal lightwell from the floor slabs; Image by Kevin Mak

Part of WKCD Development

The building sits directly above tunnels between Kowloon Station and the Kowloon Ventilation Building, only 1.5 metres below ground level. The planning complexity has become the project’s primary purpose of excavating a rough, large-scale exhibition and performance space that anchors the entire building in the ground by uncovering the tunnel as the museum’s anchoring feature. The exhibition space mirrors the tunnel shape and allows a more extensive artwork and future development. A broad diagonal opening in the floor slabs affords a view of the sunken exhibition space. At the same time, large ceiling cut-outs allow visitors to see the exhibition level and its intersection with the vertical building.

West Kowloon Cultural District (WKCD) on Hong Kong’s harbourside: The project pioneers the cultural district developments; Image by Terry Sze/Shutterstock

Accessible Urban Space

Above the ground, the development focuses on sustainable design to enhance the museum’s microclimate and reduce energy demand and operating costs with passive and active strategies minimising the use of energy, materials, water and land, and ambient energy sources. The landscape design contributes to the surrounding lush green open spaces created by the building footprints, including a large publicly accessible podium.

LED screen massive display on the facade; Image by Virgile Simon Bertrand


This is an excerpt. The original article is published in Construction+ Hong Kong Issue 25: Low-Carbon Urban Development.

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Project Title
M+ Museum
West Kowloon Cultural District, Hong Kong
Completion Date
Site Area
25,000 square metres
Gross Floor Area
92,400 square metres
Building Height
100 mPD (94 metres from waterfront promenade; 88 metres from avenue);
18 aboveground & 2 underground
West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA), Hong Kong
Executive Architect
TFP Farrells, Hong Kong
Design Consultant
Herzog & de Meuron, Basel, Switzerland
Structural Engineer
Arup, Hong Kong
Mechanical & Electrical Engineer
Arup, Hong Kong
Traffic Consultant
Arup, Hong Kong
Facade & Lighting Engineer
Arup, Hong Kong
Landscape Design
Vogt Landscape Architects AG, Zurich, Switzerland
Hsin Chong Construction Company Limited, Hong Kong
Management Contractor
Gammon Construction Limited, Hong Kong
Project Management Consultant
Atkins China Ltd, Hong Kong
Herzog & de Meuron وان ایکس بت بت فوروارد