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An inside look at the manufacturing of the M+ building terracotta tiles at a factory in Florence, Italy.

The Beauty and Craft of Terracotta Manufacturing

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From a distance, the exterior of M+ might look black or grey, but did you know our facade is actually dark green? Unlike the glass and steel exteriors of many Hong Kong buildings, the M+ facade features corrugated ceramic tile, which serves the important function of protecting our building and our collections from the elements. Natural variations in the textures and minerals of the glaze make the tiles highly responsive to the environment—like the water in the harbour, they might shimmer in direct sunlight, or deepen into darker hues under the shade.

Enjoy this inside look at the beauty and craft behind the manufacturing process at a small factory in Italy, where the natural clays were cleaned, moulded, glazed, fired, and packaged before making their long journey to be assembled in mainland China and installed at their final home in Hong Kong.

Footage filmed at Palagio Engineering Srl, Florence, Italy, and M+, Hong Kong.

See more videos about the new M+ building on YouTube.

A video depicting how light falls across various sections of a museum building’s construction site. Scenes include light shining into near-complete galleries, atrium areas, and outdoor spaces, as well as time-lapse scenes of the building’s view over Victoria Harbour, Hong Kong.

Light Pockets

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In this video we take a moment to capture how light interacts with our disappearing construction site. These ‘light pockets’ help make the building feel more porous and connect it with the adjacent harbour view.

You can see the designs of the M+ building facade, the staircase-shaped top of the Learning Hub, and the Harbour View Pergola in the roof garden—and how they each have different ways of letting the outdoor environment enter the museum.

We look forward to welcoming you to the completed M+ building soon!

Learn more about the M+ building.

Video showcasing the M+ building construction progress. Transcript can be found below.

In the Building: M+ in 2019 Video Update

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‘We’ve been visualising the gallery and studying the floor plan for many years. Finally, today we are here to visit the site and see if what we have envisioned on paper is different to how we feel about the space in person.’

Isabella Tam

Over the past year, the M+ building has been growing and developing rapidly. In the video above, a variety of people involved in the construction process—from the curators and Museum Director of M+, to construction workers onsite—give updates on the building’s progress. We also share an inside look at a curators’ site visit, the Conservation & Storage Facility, as well as the process of making the building’s unique fair-faced concrete walls and tiled facade.

Want more information on the M+ building? Check out the below links:

A building under construction stands next to the water in a pink sunset. Large cranes surround the construction site.

What’s Going on at the M+ Construction Site? January 2019

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When you visit the M+ Pavilion right now—perhaps to see the current exhibition Noguchi for Danh Vo: Counterpoint—you’ll find yourself next to the construction site for the M+ building. You’ll see a building that is well on its way to completion, with a finished tower structure and podium, but what exactly is going on? We’re here to explain.

1. The structure of the vertical tower is complete