Museum of Contemporary Art
Sao Paulo, 2001

Buildings can be introverted or extroverted. Stressing the privacy of esthetic experience, most museums tend to be the former. However, the proposed new home for the Museu de Arte Contemporanea, which intended to move from its old location in a university to a dynamically growing section of Sao Paolo, provided an opportunity to develop a different type of museum, in which the city is an integral part of the museum experience.

The innovation of the new building is expressed by a simple formulation: the museum must not be just a container; it must also provide a context for the art of its time, setting it into relations both with the history of art and with the dynamic of the surrounding city. The museum is vertical, movement within it is visible from the outside through a panoramic gallery ramp and glass envelope, and its aim is to make art and the city interact. The architecture of the museum consists of three elements: large, open floor plates within a free-flowing envelope; a linear vertical core containing all fire stairs, elevators, plumbing, and mechanical systems; and a city street in the air, composed of curvilinear ramps with city views, linking the gallery floors through movement. more

Program: Cultural, Museum, Public Buildings, Theoretical