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LOCATION Santiago de Chile, Chile

YEAR 2014

STATUS Competition

PROGRAM Cultural


Carlos Martinez / Fidel Mendoza / Jose Luis Concha (GRX Arquitectos, Spain) /  Matias Errazuriz (SCL Arquitectos, Chile)


Carlos Martinez / Fidel Mendoza / Jose Luis Concha (GRX Arquitectos, Spain) / Pablo Sanchez-Agesta (Spain) / Alvaro Gor (GRX Arquitectos, Spain) / Beatriz Mellado (Spain) / Matias Errazuriz (SCL Arquitectos, Chile) / Benjamin Cox (SCL Arquitectos, Chile) / Jose Miguel Miniño (SCL Arquitectos, Chile)

The way in which Mario Toral works, is the starting point to the architectural proposal that intends to integrate with the surroundings. Making the artist’s work stand out in a quiet but forthright way, we will let it be part of the landscape. Following a line of work somewhat chaotic, as he defines it, different concepts, theorically independent and very different one from the other, will become one; to create a space that embraces and encourages the user to watch and think.


In order to save the existing trees and landscape, which have been the painter’s inspiration and retreat for so long, the volume of the museum is excavated and appears entirely hidden. In association to it, the iconic reference for the proposal: a mural art work by Mario Toral which after slightly widening, will be shelter to the art research room. This mural opens a crack on the ground in a sky-looking yard shape, joining spaces and introducing, gradually, the users inside the museum.


The main activities inside the museum (exhibition rooms, auditorium, coffee bar…) will all take place underground. This underground space will be determined and structured by the inverted concrete cone shape that, as if they were “plantpots”, allows us to preserve some of the existing trees above the excavated volume. Such inverted cone shapes, which free the maximum floor area, seem to have been carved out of a bigger solid piece: space appears exactly where there is solid no more, emptiness.


There is only a different cone, the central one; but, instead of spoiling the idea of massiveness as the way to withstand the pressure, qualifies the whole space by making the sunlight come into it with just the right intensity for artwork to be watched.


The combination of daylight, that reaches each level inside the museum, and the neutral image of the concrete walls, become just the right frame to, due to the absence of any other kind of stimulation, make the artwork stand out.


The building will also be energy efficient, since the soil works as isolation. Reaching the museum such a low level, allows us to install a simple geothermal acclimatization system that will substantially increase the efficiency of air conditioning system.

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