soumaya museum by fernando romero architects
original content
oct 08, 2010
soumaya museum by fernando romero architects


photo by adam wiseman

last month designboom got in touch with fernando romero architects who have sent us now images of their most recent project,
the soumaya museum. the large-scale, mixed-use building is currently being constructed in polanco, mexico city.
it will be the second museum opened by carlos slim, a mexican business magnate; it is named after his late wife
and will house slim’s collection of artwork by auguste rodin, considered the biggest outside france.


photo by ana paula herrera


photo by adam wiseman

following text from fernando romero architects

the soumaya museum is located on a former industrial zone dating from the 1940’s which today
presents a very high commercial potential. the soumaya museum plays a key role in the
reconversion of the area: as a preeminent cultural program, it acts as an initiator in the transformation
of the urban perception. moreover, its institutional status activates the public space with functionalities
other than commercial and grants the new neighborhood the urban intensity it required.

in order to create a new identity for the site, the building needed to acquire a strong urban presence.
thus, the soumaya museum was conceived as a sculptural building that is both unique and contemporary.
its avant-garde morphology and typology define a new paradigm in the history of mexican and
international architecture.

from the outside, the building is an organic and asymmetrical shape that is perceived differently
by each visitor, while reflecting the diversity of the collection on the inside. indeed, the work to be
exposed contains amongst others the second biggest collection of rodin sculptures in the world,
several authors of medieval and renaissance art, as well as impressionist painters.

this heterogeneous collection is housed in a continuous exhibition space spread over six levels,
representing approximately 6,000 m². the building also includes an auditorium for 350 people,
library, offices, a restaurant, a gift shop and a multi-purpose gathering lounge.

the shell of the building is constructed with 28 steel curved columns of different diameters,
each with its own geometry and shape, offering the visitor a soft non-linear circulation all
through the building. located at each floor level, seven ring beams provide a system that
braces the structure and guarantees its stability. the top floor is the most generous space
of the museum; its roof is suspended from an impressive cantilever that allows natural daylight
to flow in freely. in contrast, the building’s envelope is nearly opaque, offering little and scarce
openings to the outside. this gesture can be interpreted as an intention to create a protected
shelter for the art collection. the façade is made of hexagonal aluminum modules that optimize
the preservation and durability of the entire building.



model


render by juan pedro lopez


render by juan pedro lopez



render by juan pedro lopez


credit: gehry technologies


credit: gehry technologies


credit: gehry technologies


programmatic distribution diagram


structural diagram


circulation diagram


air-conditioning diagram

project credits
architect: lar / fernando romero and mauricio ceballos
client: grupo carso / museo soumaya
estimated completion date: 2010
location: lake zurich , expansion col. granada, del. miguel hidalgo. mexico city,
total area: 17.000 m2
breakdown:  exhibition halls (6000 m2), auditorium (350 seats), leisure (150 children),
library (3000 books), shops, restaurants and cafeteria (140 seats),
main hall (mixed-use space for 600 people ), storage (2500m2),
general service areas, offices (50 employees), staff area and parking (460 vehicles).
façade: gehry technologies
engineer concept: arup los angeles
project regency: inpros
civil constructor: pc constructores

architecture team
ana medina, herminio gonzalez, omar gerala félix, sergio rebelo, ana paula herrera,
mario mora, juan pedro lópez, guillermo mena, libia castilla, raúl garcía, manuel díaz, alan aurioles,
ana gabriela alcocer, luis ricardo garcía, ivan ortiz, tiago pinto, laura dominguez, juan andres lopez,
olga gomez, hugo fernandez, jason sidelko, eddy slim, nicola, davolio, lee warren, alexander pena,
jacqueline hernandez, kosuke osawa, francisco javier de la vega, david hernandez,  jorge hernandez,
joaquín collado, mariana tafoya, eduardo benítez, pedro lechuga, thorsten englert, luís fuentes,
luís flores, rodolfo rueda, víctor chávez, max betancourt, wonne icks, dolores robles-martínez,
sappho van laer, ophelie chassin, elena haller, abril tobar, diego eumir jasso, albert beele,
homero yánez, cynthia meléndez, hugo vela, susana hernández, gerardo galicia, alberto duran,
camilo mendoza, dafne zvi zaldívar, cecilia jiménez, ángel ortiz, raúl antonio hernández,
alma delfina rosas, wendy guillen, raúl flores, daniel alejandro farías, jesús monroy, saúl miguel kelly,
iván javier avilés, cesar pérez.

engineers
structure: colinas de buen
steel producer: swecomex
mep: dypro
hydraulic, sanitary installation and fire protection: garza maldonado y asociados
electric installation: hubard bourlon
security / IT & A/V: sitcom

consultants
museographer: museo soumaya / alfonso miranda
interior & landscape: mier y teran and inside outside / petra blaisse
lighting: lighteam & arquitectura de la luz
vertical transport: kone & arsenio rodríguez consulting
kitchen: sanborns
auditorium: teletec
environmental graphics: museistica / adriana miranda
acoustic: saad acústica

comments policy
LOG IN VIA
login with designboom
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

product library