The mega-trusses in the M+ building. Photo: Dan Leung. M+, Hong Kong
You can’t miss the enormous diagonal pillars running from floor to ceiling here on Level 2. They run either side of the spiral staircase in four pairs of two—each like a letter V, split at the base. These are the M+ Mega Trusses. If you’ve already explored the floors below us, you’ll have seen their bases; they’re the thick vertical columns covered with wood-panelled concrete.
You might remember that down in the Found Space we talked about how the architects made use of the underground metro lines which cut diagonally across the foundations of M+. While this gave them the ‘Found Space’ from which to begin their designs, it also presented a challenge, as absolutely no load-bearing weight could be placed onto the tunnel. Realising this, they had to design an infrastructure that ingeniously bridged over the tunnel.
A giant structural system of five high-strength mega-trusses was therefore created to distribute the weight of the building across the site’s foundation without resting any load on the Airport Express and Tung Chung Line railway tunnels. It’s the first time mega-trusses like these have been used in a Hong Kong building, and that’s one of the reasons the architects wanted to leave fragments of them exposed, as they have here on Level 2. They’re a unique feature creating dynamic, unexpected spatial experiences throughout the museum.