The Board of the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority (WKCDA) held its 95th meeting on 28 January. At the meeting, the Acting Chief Executive Officer of WKCDA, Mrs Betty Fung, reported on the Authority’s recent activities and its progress in different areas.
Mrs Fung began by reporting that the M+ building and the adjacent Conservation and Storage Facility had been issued their Occupation Permits by the Buildings Department on 24 December 2020. M+ staff have started moving into the building in January 2021. This will be followed by work on organising and installing the collections in preparation for the museum's opening by the end of 2021.
Meanwhile, construction of the Hong Kong Palace Museum (HKPM) is progressing well. This has included work to install the building’s aluminum cladding curtain wall and to assemble mechanical and electrical equipment. The testing and commissioning of various mechanical and electrical systems at the HKPM will be carried out in February 2021. The application for the statutory inspection by the Buildings Department and the Fire Services Department is expected to be made in the second quarter of 2021. The HKPM construction will be completed by November 2021 as planned, after which the fitting-out of the galleries will take place. Regarding exhibition planning, HKPM has already embarked on design work for its nine opening exhibitions and will issue tenders for individual exhibition production and multimedia exhibit design. Once the fitting-out work for the galleries has been completed, the artefacts to be displayed from the Palace Museum will be shipped to Hong Kong. This transfer should take place in the first half of 2022.
Regarding project development, Mrs Fung reported significant progress in several areas. After the Occupation Permit for the M+ building was obtained in December 2020, the car park in the basement of M+ was the first of the building’s facilities to open to the public. Elsewhere, the statutory inspection of the WKCDA Tower started in early January 2021. The building's Occupation Permit is expected to be issued before Chinese New Year. It is expected that the Authority’s staff members will be able to move into the building in the second quarter of 2021, after completion of the fitting-out works. The WKCDA Tower will enable the Authority to consolidate all its temporary offices on Hong Kong Island and Tsim Sha Tsui in one place. The substructure of the Lyric Theatre Complex (LTC) and the Integrated Basement, which is being constructed under the L1 Works Contract, is now in its final stage of construction. Completion is expected in early 2021. The superstructure of the LTC, under the L2 Works Contract, is concurrently under construction on the same site.
Finally, the Austin Road Pedestrian Linkage System connecting the Xiqu Centre and the MTR’s Austin Station is expected to open to the public in the first quarter of 2021, once all statutory inspections have been completed and the Work Completion Certificate issued. The new linkage system will provide convenient and direct pedestrian access for audiences and visitors heading to the Xiqu Centre from Austin Station.
Occupation Permit for the M+ building was obtained in December 2020