The relationship between the public and art has changed in recent years. Art has become tangible, more engaging and inviting to the public, encouraging visitors to take part and participate as active viewers; it has become interactive, touchable, and allowing a variety of interpretations. Museums and exhibition spaces thus had to adapt and to develop into active flexible environments, allowing change and creating dynamic spaces. They evolved into performance spaces, technically equipped to host dynamic installations and ambitious productions. One of the main challenges of the contemporary exhibition space is therefore to create an environment where the visitor and the artifact can interact between themselves, with other visitors and the city.
In our proposal, we wish to take part in this evolution and to challenge the essence of what an art pavilion is, to re-think its typology in the context of the West Kowloon Cultural District.
We imagine the M+ Pavilion as an art apparatus, as “pure infrastructure” suitable for a new kind of exhibitions and events. It is conceived as two complementing parts functioning together – an open, one story, ultra flexible exhibition space, an “art platform” that is roofed by a “cloud of infrastructure” that can generate endless possibilities and opportunities. Our proposal creates an open and welcoming pavilion taking advantage of its prime location on the WKCD’s waterfront.
The exhibition space is a fully flexible space, easily adapted for all kinds of visual art, design, architecture and moving image exhibitions, both two and three dimensional, as well as performances, installations and screenings. The space is defined by operable glass walls (and darkening curtains) that can fold and thus open up the space of the pavilion to the exterior, creating a connection with the open landscape and the promenade and a possibility to take part in large scale outdoor exhibitions.
The structure of the pavilion and the “infrastructure cloud” are based on the tensegrity principle creating a pure and efficient structure, an absolute art machine containing all necessary infrastructures such as audio/video display, information and communications technology, security and climate control, lights and fire prevention and other back of the house facilities. This structural principle recalls local Chinese building traditions and creates a distinct architectural result. By using this efficient structure we minimize the pavilion’s environmental impact and create an efficient edifice taking advantage of natural light and ventilation and minimizing unnecessary energy use.
We propose a pavilion that attempts to become the next step in a long tradition of art pavilions. We wish to create a building that forms a new kind of exhibition space, one that generates endless possibilities. The synergy between the “art platform” and the “infrastructure cloud” can generate a series of scenarios that change in form, function and light in one relatively small space. We try to create an exhibition space that functions as an instrument that re-institutes the link between art, space, landscape and people.