The challenge of this visionary project is that it will become the first Art Museum in Mexico city with such an avant garde form, breaking by this with all the paradigms in our country. It will also create a state-of-the-art facility to house and display artwork that meets the standard of International Art Institutions.
Emerging from the ground; the Soumaya Museum will be a central attraction in a new development within metropolitan Mexico City. The 17,000 m² building will have an exhibit area of approximately 6,000 m² spread over 6 levels. There will be an auditorium for 350 people, library, offices, a restaurant and gathering lounge. Intermediate levels are open to each other in a continuous volume, but partially separated by enclosed areas, making all spaces unique in their shape and form. The average floor to ceiling height also varies at each level, from 4 meters to nearly 13 meters at its highest point. The subterranean structure will have five underground levels of parking below two underground levels of storage and restoration labs. The building is slightly asymmetrical in both plan and elevation.
There are a total of 28 curved columns around the perimeter of the building that follow the curvature of exterior surface. At each floor level a series of seven beams connect to curve columns to form an irregular enclosed ring beam. The intention of these irregular ring beams is to provide a system that braces the curved columns to the floor and roof diaphragms retaining the curved shape of the columns under all load combinations.
The modern geometry of the new Soumaya Museum emerges from a central point radiating out in non uniform angles. The façade slopes inward halfway up the building elevation and outwards to the roof line, while also rotating about its center. This geometry causes the building to angle in many directions and to self-shade large portions of its walls. The envelope is nearly all opaque with little openings to the outside while large skylights are designed within the roof structure and taking up much of the roof area.
Architect: FR-EE / Fernando Romero EnterprisE
General Contractor: CARSO Infraestructura y Contrucción
Interior Design: FREE + MYT/ CEO-Andrés Mier y Teran
Client: Fundación Carlos Slim
Completion: March 2011
Photographer: Javier Hinojosa WAF Awards 2011 – Shortlisted in Culture Category