MALI SQUARE - LIMA ART MUSEUM NEW WEEK
Awarded an honorable mention among 387 total proposals, MDDM Studio proposal ‘MALI square’ emphasizes flexibility in answer to the city’s complex urban situation. The proposed new contemporary art wing of MALI museum is a gridded system intended as connector between the museum’s historical exposition palace, the new addition, and the urban dimension of the surrounding avenues, parks and metro station. The proposal consists of three main areas: a sub-level gallery, sunken courtyard, and multi-level education center. By placing part of the functional program in the underground, the design take advantage of the setting to improve the environment quality such as the noise reduction in the sunken square as well as the thermal exchange with the soil for the underground art gallery and in the same time it integrates the volumes into the scene without drastically affecting the setting. Through the juxtaposition of voids and volumes, arranged in grid format, the proposal offers a diverse solution to effectively and elegantly resolve the competition requirements.
‘MALI square’ is integrated into the urban structure by organizing its functional program along an axes parallel to the one of the Exposition Palace. The orthogonal shapes of the new elements are in direct proportion with the courtyard of the historical building and are shifted from the center alignment to better optimize the use of the space.
As an answer to the complexity of urban environment the Mali Square proposes the flexibility to use and to access the area from different points. In fact the new plaza defined by the proposal is a system of squares that works as a hinge between the urban dimension (the avenues, the other parks and the metro) and the human scale of the museum itself and the Exposition park. Each square provides different qualities and environments depending on where the people are coming from.
People coming from the metro are welcome to a sunken open square that create a filter between the underground and the open air, being still protected from the noise of the above street level. In the same time the square under the tower provide a shelter from the sun and the seldom rain and the small sunken square between the library and the tower is a more intimate public space that works as a filter to prepare the visitor to visit the museum.
How to generate a new design that integrate itself in the existing environment but in the same time brings along new qualities and a contemporary environment to the surrounding? To answer this the proposal works in different layers and scale and intertwine them together. If the regular shape are directly related to the historical buildings as well as the respect of the monumental axes , the scheme is enriched by the juxtaposition and shift of voids and volumes that creates a more diverse environment.
The voids become the physical invitation to explore the underground gallery while the new floating volume becomes the new contemporary pavilion that completes the series of architectural monuments that characterized the park. The function hosted by the tower (the education program) it is also a manifestation of the importance of the culture as a progress for society. While the position of the main gallery underground increase the energy efficiency of the building thanks to the thermal exchange with the soil surrounding it, the compact body of the tower has a double skin composed by an internal layer of glass curtain wall that provide the necessary insulation and an external one made out of semi-transparent glass tiles that serves as sunscreens, to shade and regulate the illumination in the school spaces inside.
The lighting system is studied to fully light wash the internal glass curtain wall while the glass tiles of the external layer would have come out as a mosaic of light. This double layer of transparency and light creates a blurred definition of the tower that would gently set into the existing context.
The skylights, both in the tower and the gallery, are used to bring natural indirect light as well as a chimney to increase the natural ventilation.