FREE Fernando Romero
In order to create a new identity for the site, both a
strong urban and iconic presence, the Soumaya Museum was conceived
as a rotating sculptural building that is both an object and a part
of the city.
The Soumaya Museum is part of a large scale mixed-use urban development on the edge of the Polanco district, one of the most exclusive areas of Mexico City. Located on a former existing 1940's industrial site the Soumaya Museum - as the pre-eminent cultural program in the area - is a key instigator towards the transformation of urban perception and urban life in the area.
To create a shelter for its collection, the opaque facade is
made of hexagonal aluminum modules that minimize exterior openings
while optimizing the preservation and durability of the entire
The conglomeration of the individual modules reflects the
diversity of the museums' collection that includes the worlds'
second largest collection of Rodin sculptures, a wing of Medieval
and Renaissance Art, and a gallery of Impressionism. This diverse
collection is housed in a continuous exhibition space spread over
The shell of the building is made of 28 unique curved steel
columns of varying size and shape. The structure is
stabilized by a system of seven rings located on each floor. The
top floor, with the roof suspended from a cantilever that allows
natural daylight in, is the largest space in the museum.
The building also includes an array of public and private
programs, including: a 350 seat auditorium, library, restaurant,
gift-shop, a multi-purpose lounge, and administrative
offices. Connecting the programs is a non-linear circulation
zone, creating areas of interaction for users along a common path
as they meander through the building, culminating in a naturally
lit multi-use gallery on the top floor.
Facts about Soumaya Museum
Exhibition area: 20,000 m2
Photographed by Iwan Baan
Last updated: December 19, 2013
Out of the Ordinary: The Architecture and Design of Robert Venturi, Denise Scott Brown and Associates
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
New York, New York, USA