M+ (Museum+) is a new center for visual culture in Hong Kong, located in the new West Kowloon Cultural District. Snøhetta's design makes M+ a new transpositional art platform. The + highlights the ambitious relationship between art content, the public, museum building, and context.
The current state of anticipated relationships between museums and society demands rethinking. The design of art museums is dominated by the idea that people portray the highest risk to any type of collection. This prevents the introduction of integrated approaches and leaves museums “passive” according to the latest sociological discoveries of human behaviour. Performative aspects of space and time relationships are vulnerable qualities and they may be deteriorated by formal architectural approaches driven by personal aesthetical preferences. The M+ concept seeks to give a clear and recognisable form, yet adaptable to the changing demands of society and the arts.
The upper entrance level is conceptually the ground covered by a roof plate, a platform for art and human encounters
The lower entrance and exhibition level is situated below the horizontal M+space.It is connected borderlessly with the boardwalk and park, allowing pedestrian flow into and through the core of the museum exhibition areas.
Through the bending of the roof plate 90° upwards into an L-shaped composition, the museum adapts to the given limitations of the footprint described by the site -thus creating a 4 meter high horizontal and a 4 meter wide vertical space. This horizontal and vertical space is named the M+space. A constant distance from the roof plane to the floor and from the wall plane to the vertical structure reveals uninterrupted foreshortened views towards the sky, the water, the skyline, mountains and the park, only framed by the adjoining surfaces.
ENTRANCE FROM PARK These views are reference views, providing a consciously sensed location of your body within the museum. The roof and wall field of the M+space is both structural and atmospherical. It redirects light and views into and out of the horizontal and vertical M+space, increasing perceptive attention and leaving notions of memory about their initial absolute horizontality.
Vertical space, pivot point between gallery and machine of the museum
Externally accesible Gallery, looking at the Hong Kong harbourfront.
Main Gallery, . Flexible walls portraying how visitors move through Main gallery spaces.