Architectural Competition Entry - 2020
Architects:BASE studio in association with Andrés Valle
Architectural Collaborators:Matías Ramírez, Carlos Larraín, Rodrigo del Campo, Francisca Feliú, Beatriz Harriet, Martín Gómez, Matías Faundes, Ignacio Salinas, Catalina Ellena.
‘"Collection: An ordered set of things, usually of the same kind and gathered for their special interest or value." (RAE definition) We understand the Museum as a collection of activities and events; of parts, programs and pieces that reflect and account for the culture and society of which is a part of. We are interested in highlighting the potential of the museum as an exposed building, transcending the idea of a closed and introspective “box”, presenting the museum as a broad and open cultural destination: a place for strolling, for gathering, a creator of experiences, of amazement and education. In this sense, the project for the New Museum of Santiago, NuMu, is conceived as a great “architectural collection” in itself. It is a series of neutral programmatic volumes that contain the different formal activities required for the proper functioning of the project, ordered in such a way as to enhance informal spatial and functional relationships, enabling new and future uses, diverse and not prescribed, flexible and open; ensuring the vitality and contemporaneity of the museum today and tomorrow. Proposal: The project is conceived as a 3-level public building (Park level, Promenade level and Underground level). Its programmatic array responds to a radio-centric diagram in which programmes organize around a central courtyard, articulating the operational autonomy that each program requires, as well as the relationship among them and with the context: park access, view to landmarks, etc. The different programmatic volumes are stacked in such a way that mismatches and connections between them create eaves, cantilevers, and terraces as opportunities for vitalizing outdoor activities on the first and second floors. The project seeks to portray itself as a piece of resounding identity and volumetric lucidity. Recognizable and memorable for its formal clarity, as a landmark that activates and strengthens the southern areaof Bicentenario Park; as a public piece approachable and accessible from all its perimeter faces. The more than 300 meters exterior facade perimeter —composed of low-carbon glass panes that gently filter the sunlight by gradually transitioning from transparent to translucent —, maximize the relationship between the interior and the exterior of the building. Accounting not just for the “openness” of a building that shares its interior content and activities, but as a building that seems to sharply render its own silhouette at certain moments of the day, and tends to disappear at some others, merging itself within the reflections of the park and the city. Likewise, the interior of the project unfolds as a neutral and homogeneous “canvas”, which favours the showcasing of the artworks in the formal spaces of the building (exhibition rooms) as well as in the many potential informal exhibition spaces (halls, terraces, etc.); privileging a natural atmosphere that blends with the tints and colours the park casts on its walls and ceilings. The circulation strategy considers 2 main access public levels for the project: Park level and Promenade level. From the park level, people will approach the project in a natural way, following the existing open paths and esplanades as part of a fluid public circuit that leads to the central plaza. From this point, people will enter into a triple-height Access Hall, which connects and links the different programmatic levels of the museum throughout a vertical circulation core with stairs and elevator, located in the main interior void. At the Park level (+ -0.00), the project considers an interior circulation that surrounds the Central Plaza and connects from the lobby to the Main Exhibition Hall, passing by the administration offices, and to the Multi-purpose Educational Rooms. The latter has been designed as a flexible space, capable of being divided into 4 smaller rooms that open and link directly to the park through an outdoor terrace. The Main Exhibition Hall in the southern part of the project is half-a-floor depressed from the park level. This condition allows, on the one hand, for the room to gain a larger interior height, favouring the exhibition of large-scale artwork pieces (that can be entered through sliding panels located at the facade); and on the other, that people enter at a mid-floor level, approaching from a different perspective to the room and to the art pieces. From the Promenade level, people will enter the museum through a “bridge” volume that leads to the triple-height interior hall. As an extension of the public promenade, access at this level will allow direct and free entry to the Cafeteria, Library areas, as well as the 2 Exhibition Rooms, located at this level (East and West Rooms). Likewise, from the second-floor lobby, people can freely access the exterior ramp that leads to the roof-level in a fluid and continuous way. At the roof-level, a series of stepped terraces will allow different outdoor activities for the museum in direct contact with the natural landmarks and the city surroundings: the Manquehue hill to the north; the San Cristóbal Hill and Bicentenario Park to the west; and the skyline from the city to the south. At the underground level, the circulation is configured around a central Multi-purpose Room which “echoes” the central plaza above as an interior multi-format circular space. This room allows different modes and arrangements for several activities and events, from an auditorium (with mobile stands), panoramic exhibitions or many other non-conventional formats. At this level, people will be also able to walk freely around the central perimeter either to access the Sound Art Room or to discover and learn from the work that will be carried out in the Restoration and Conservation workshops and at the Warehouse areas. The transparent glass panes and mobile panels designed for these spaces will provide a series of possibilities of opening and linking between underground programs, inviting to an active underground-level, in which the whole back-of-house of the museum it has been displayed and set open to the public, exposing the intrinsic value behind each and every activity carried out at the museum.