Kostas Manolidis. Buenos Aires Contemporary Art Museum


The currently dominant model of an art museum calls for spaces sealed from the exterior, with absolutely controlled light and temperature conditions.

This study for a new museum originates from a desire to challenge this model and imagine a more exposed and raw framework for the interaction of people with art objects. In the process of this fabrication another consideration also emerged. The very name of Buenos Aires (good winds) generated stimulating implications. Wind is an agent metaphorically associated with the invigorating impact of human intellect and therefore its evocation could be appropriate for an architecture that accommodates works of art.

To embody this metaphor in the new edifice, a split along the full length of the building is separating the ground and the upper floors. It allows the potential flow of the air breezes through the building and introduces the latent presence of wind.

A large elevated platform for open-air exhibitions and other public activities was the main element that enabled the rest of the scheme to be built upon. Such a platform should maintain some kind of linkage with the ground itself in order to be perceived as an integral part of the urban terrain. For establishing this connection, the windowless concrete wall of the ground floor incorporates old stones and fragments of demolished buildings. The resulting image of an earthy plinth juxtaposed to the delicate overstructure installs a conceptual and physical polarity that animates the building.

This project is a never submitted entry to the 2012 architectural competition for the Buenos Aires New Contemporary Art Museum. The sculpture pieces included in the depictions of the proposal are all made by the major Spanish Basque artist Eduardo Chillida.