Serie’s design for the new extension for contemporary art at the MALI museum is a physical manifestation of the line between art and the city, a new axis for Lima, an artline that gives urban space for new cultural formations.
Contemporary art is made of born of resides in and challenges the city. The city in turn frames and nourishes the contemporary museum institution. MALI is the line where these meet, a delineation that charts the boundaries between art and urban life and brings them together. It is s depository for the city’s produced culture and in turn an active shaper of future cultures.
The underlying structure of the proposal is literally a path drawn from the pavements of Lima to the rooms of MALI. It is a common path of urban textures and found objects that link Parque Juana Larco de Dammert and Parque de la Exposicion to the wider city.
At its centre the artline becomes a sunken hall – the entrance of MALI Contemporary. This hall is marked by a glass enclosure that streams light into the museum by day, and glows as a brilliant jewel by night.
The 45m long art hall is the heart of the new extension, a grand space for installations and events, as well as a meeting place for those visiting the museum and education rooms. The Metro connects directly to this hall which is also shared with the shop, cafe, and ticket desk. The glass canopy soars above this bustling interior space.
The galleries are contained in a series of three large rooms which give the possibility for multiple exhibition configurations. Movable partitions can be configured to provide additional wall space and curatorial possibilities.They provide both ambient and natural light. 7.3m high ceilings create large flexible volumes. Double walls allow for full access and maintenance, as well as servicing routes for precise environmental control. There is a clear and efficient separation of art and visitor circulation. Art handlers have direct access to the galleries and storage areas through a large goods lift.
At the entrance of the new extension and the centre of the artline axis is an open plaza. Large sloped lawns, loose gravel and stone tiles provide a diversity of ground textures for different activities. Grass verges and trees provide shelter from noise and pollution, allowing the east facade of the existing museum to be opened to the plaza. This becomes a sheltered meeting space at the corner of a busy intersection. This is envisioned as a new living room for Lima with the paving providing a domestic richness to the public space. Travertine benches and shady, robust Royal Poinciana trees furnish the room.
The proposal addresses the surrounding park by concentrating activity and connective routes to the eastern edge, allowing the majority of the park to become less of a throughway, and more of a peaceful and restorative landscape in the city. The linear strip of the artline acts as a common background, framing and grounding the disparate park pavilions into a cohesive landscape.