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Thursday31 July 2014

British firms in race for West Kowloon art museum

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Six-strong shortlist revealed for M+ while Canadian team takes district’s opera house

A six-strong shortlist including two British firms has been announced for a new contemporary art museum in Hong Kong.

Farrells has teamed up with Herzog & de Meuron and Benoy with Toyo Ito & Associates for the 62,000sq m M+ which will sit on the waterfront of Victoria Harbour.

Other teams in the running include Snohetta, Shigeru Ban Architects and Thomas Chow Architects, Renzo Piano Building Workshop and Sanaa.

It is hoped that the museum, which aims to showcase 20th and 21st century visual culture, will rival the MoMA in New York.

Rafael Moneo will chair the jury and the project is scheduled for completion in 2017.

Meanwhile, Foster & Partners with O Studio Architects has missed out on a competition to design the Xiqu Centre in West Kowloon.

The job, one of the first to be awarded as part of the £1.7 billion Foster-designed masterplan, went to Vancouver-based Bing Thom Architects and Hong Kong-based Ronald Lu & Partners.

Thom said: “The commission for Hong Kong holds a special place in my heart, a true homecoming for me – my first building in my birthplace.

“The Xiqu Centre design is a contemporary expression of a traditional Chinese opera building to show our wonderful art form to the world.”

The Xiqu Centre is the first of 17 arts and cultural venues to be opened within the district and will be used mainly for Cantonese and other Chinese opera performances. It will also host international cultural programmes.

Other firms shortlisted for the project include Safdie Architects, Wong & Ouyang with Diamond and Schmitt and Mecanoo with Leigh & Orange.

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