Project: Contemporary Art Museum
Designed by Michael Labory & Bertrand Schippan
Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Michael Labory studio shares with us the much talked about Contemporary Art Museum design created in collaboration with Bertrand Schippan.
From the Architects:
A Museum at the Scale of the City. In order to manifest and enhance its status as capital of Argentina and one of the largest cities in Latin America, the city of Buenos Aires needs a symbol, an icon. The establishment of a "Landmark" integrated into the new skyline of Puerto Madero will highlight its grandeur and will promote the visibility of this area that enjoys a re-naissance.
“I am a Monument”. A unique feature of Buenos Aires – the Rivadavia Avenue that pierces the city center to link it with natural reserve through the "Puente de la Mujer" bridge, symbol of Puerto Madero – brings added value to the project. Monumentality is in the very roots of the city’s existence. That is why it seems natural and evident that a new art museum should embody and highlight it.
"I am not just a museum, I am a monument".
Old + New. Why not build a new museum next to the old one creating a direct link between them? What can we do with the old one to make it new? Why cannot we keep both? In our day and age when creating a city inside a city has turned into a challenging target/long-term target/ target we are striving to achieve, why not adapt that urban stratification to the museum by merging the two museums into one.
"An ordinary object elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist”
Following the philosophy of the artist, the boat « La fragata Sarmiento » will be taken out of its context and put in the very heart of the new museum. Thus the museum will acquire overwhelming splendor. The boat will become an integral part of the museum and would be exhibited as a piece of art.
Fragata Sarmiento Memorium. It would be disrespect not to pay its dues by commemorating the place where the boat had been docked during all these years. A floating square/plaza shaped as the boat projection will become a singular souvenir?
"SCENE" for Contemporary Art. The floating plaza which is to become a meeting place and an entertainment spot will also host outdoor exhibitions.
Museum For the Works of Art. The museum is above all intended to host a numerous variety of the works of art. It is the volume of exhibition space with widths and ceiling heights suitable for objects of art ranging from the smallest to the most excessive, adjustable lighting conditions and the abundance of thematic rooms that make this museum a wonderland for artist’s imagination to reign.
Building Envelope as a Support for Art. Unlike the majority of museums where the building is used just as a container for works of art, ours becomes a podium, serves as a supporting environment. Thus the art is enriched by the museum and the museum is enriched by the art. A dialogue is created between the content and the container. The sculptures can be placed in different niches or on elevated platforms and finally pictures, collages or photographs can be put at any distance from the visitor.
Multiple Routes. The way in which a visitor discovers a museum depends on his mood. Indeed, the perception of space is different for everyone and it is more pleasant (especially in a museum) to be guided by one’s own senses. That is why the museum route must absolutely not be "IKEAnised" by providing visitors with single direction but rather be flexible and offer a variety of intercrossing passages for visitors to discover the museum each time in their individual way.
Animate the Waterfront. The waterfront is enlivened by a floating platform that enlarges the overall space of museum-related activities for public to enjoy. Sidewalk cafes and restaurants, library and museum shop and finally a floating platform at the edge of the waterfront will enable visitors to contemplate art exhibitions or artistic performances from a floating square. It will greatly contribute to the animation of "Puerto Madero Waterfront"
Appearance. To pay a tribute to the Aconcagua "colossus of the Mountain" – the highest peak of the Andes and also to symbolize the stability of contemporary art, the museum is shaped as a block of rough granite. It is carved from the inside revealing its wealth, its chef oeuvres with a boat gleaming like a jewel inside a glass showcase surrounded with golden brown.
Energy Saving. Creation of self-sufficient buildings aims not only to reduce energy consumption itself, but also to reduce the need in energy, thus promoting energy saving philosophy and bioclimatic approach in design. Awareness programs will be distributed among visitors in order to deepen their understanding of impacts that excessive energy use brings with it and of correlation between the needed energy and its available sources/minimum possible consumption.