Glittering panel to design Hong Kong's flagship art museum

The design for the city's flagship visual arts museum will lie in the hands of a select group of professional brought together by the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority.

The eight-strong jury of local and foreign architects, designers and an art collector will determine the design of the waterfront museum M+.

The Institute of Architects called for members of the public to have a say as well.

"We hope the design will raise people's interests in visiting the museum and enhance their appreciation of the arts," institute spokeswoman Susan Leung So-wan said.

The jury will be led by Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, who in 1996 received the most prestigious award in his field - the Pritzker Prize for Architecture.

His has worked on major international venues, such as the National Museum of Roman Art in Merida, Spain, the Museum of Modern Art and Architecture in Stockholm, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, in the United States.

Other panellists include Professor Eve Blau from the Harvard University graduate school of design, Kathy Halbreich, associate director of New York's Museum of Modern Art, and Uli Sigg of Switzerland, the first donor to M+ and a leading collector of Chinese contemporary art.

The local jurors are Hong Kong Design Institute principal Leslie Lu Lam, architect William Lim - whose lanterns are on display at Victoria Park - M+ executive director Lars Nittve and Hong Kong Design Centre chairman Victor Lo Chung-wing.

"A museum for its time and place also requires a building for its time and place," Nittve said.

He said M+ aimed to turn visitors into learning participants. The museum, which will focus on 20th and 21st century visual culture, is also seeking a learning space.

Designers for the M+ have until October 15 to submit an expression of interest. Six design teams will be shortlisted by December and the winners will be chosen next summer.

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Art world luminaries to steer museum design