WKCDA to stick to strict budget framework
The next facility in the pipeline at the government’s showcase West Kowloon Cultural District, the M+ visual arts museum, is likely to start work sometime next year.
Speaking at a press briefing yesterday to introduce the latest round of arts and cultural events, West Kowloon Cultural District Authority executive director for M+ Lars Nittve said the museum was in the middle of a schematic design process lasting six months.
Discussions were ongoing between the client and the architects about the design.
“We will break ground most likely at the end of the summer next year,” Nittve said.
As such, he said the foundation tender would go first.
Last month, the authority broke ground for the first facility, the Xiqu Centre for Chinese opera performances.
Lars sidestepped a question about the budget for M+ but said the authority was working to a “fixed framework” on the budget and would stick to it.
“I can assure you that we would not dare to go out and spend beyond the frameworks that are given [to us],” he said.
The M+ museum was budgeted at HK$2.6 billion when the Legislative Council approved a one-off endowment of HK$21.6 billion in 2008.
In a story last April, Sing Tao Daily reported a source as saying the M+ museum could cost double that sum, hitting HK$5 billion.
Lars also took the opportunity to refute suggestions of overspending as reported in the media.
“That is pretty peculiar because actually we have not spent anything yet. So you can’t overrun if you don’t spend,” he said.
Currently the authority was reviewing the budgets based on latest trends in construction costs to estimate future costs to completion and would rather talk about that instead of budget overruns, Nittve added.
Amongst the various arts and cultural events planned from next few months is an exhibition “Building M+: The Museum and Architecture Collection” that will run for one month from 9 January 2014.
The authority will showcase the M+ museum incorporating the latest design concepts and changes and also show the designs of the five runner-ups.
Last June, the authority appointed a partnership of architect firms Herzog & d Meuron and TFP Farrells as the architect for the M+ museum after it submitted a winning entry in a design competition.