explore the lush yayoi kusama gallery at brazil's inhotim contemporary art center

explore the lush yayoi kusama gallery at brazil's inhotim contemporary art center

the permanent yayoi kusama gallery in brazil

 

New photography has been captured of the Yayoi Kusama Gallery, which has been completed this year by studios MACh Arquitectos and Rizoma Arquitectura. Hidden amongst the trees at the contemporary art center Instituto Inhotim in Brumadinho, Brazil, the gallery is dedicated to housing two iconic installations by the renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama at Inhotim: ‘I am here but nothing’ and ‘Aftermath of obliteration of eternity.’ The challenge for the architects was not just to shelter these artworks, but to address the inevitable long waiting lines formed by visitors. See designboom’s coverage of the project’s completion here!

yayoi kusama inhotim brazilimages © Leonardo Finotti

 

 

a lush, shaded waiting space at Instituto Inhotim

 

Architects Fernando Maculan (MACh) and Maria Paz (Rizoma) approached the design of Instituto Inhotim’s Yayoi Kusama Gallery with a focus on minimalism and functionality, especially with the shading system. Using a sequence of cables arranged in parallel, the shading system connects the highest point near the cut slope to the lowest point at the opposite end of the plateau. The gentle curvature of these lines metaphorically reconstructs the original site’s profile, acknowledging its history of intervention for plateau creation and slope generation. This tensioned shading provides practical benefits while capitalizing on the space generated by the land cut.

yayoi kusama inhotim brazil
a minimalist shading system comprises parallel cables mirroring the land’s original profile

 

 

integration of nature

 

A key element in the design of the Yayoi Kusama Gallery at Instituto Inhotim is the integration of a flexible metal mesh that serves as a support surface for the growth of Congea tomentosa, an exotic climbing plant introduced to Brazil in the 1960s by Roberto Burle Marx. This carefully chosen plant not only offers shading and rainwater retention but also adds an aesthetic dimension to the design, with its ever-changing flower coloration in white, pink, lilac, and grey. The Congea contributes to the sense of time and continuous transformation, enhancing the overall experience of the gallery.

yayoi kusama inhotim brazil
the work integrates art and architecture, providing shelter for iconic installations while addressing waiting lines

 

 

Under the shading roof, the gallery opens horizontally to the garden on one side and ascends toward the pavilion as a vertical concrete plane, seamlessly crossing the space between lateral slopes. The architecture, far from being a standalone object, emerges as a topographical intervention intricately tied to the site’s configuration. This thoughtful approach connects the two distinct moments in the existing landscape — the natural forest and the manicured garden.

yayoi kusama inhotim brazil
the shading system adapts to the site’s history of intervention for plateau creation

 

 

The lines defined by various paving materials create pathways leading to small gathering areas equipped with wood benches. These spaces serve as invitations for visitors to linger, either within the pavilion or in the serene surroundings, soaking in the ambiance and scenic views. The design, viewed from above, acts as a captivating color intervention in the landscape, connecting the natural forest with the manicured garden and evoking a sense of wonder — a magical world awaiting discovery by Inhotim’s visitors.

explore the lush yayoi kusama gallery at brazil's inhotim contemporary art center
the design incorporates a flexible metal mesh supporting the climbing plant Congea tomentosa

galeria-yayoi-kusama-MACh-arquitetos-rizoma-arquitectura-brazil-designboom-06a

the plant life lends shading and rainwater retention while filling the space with flowers and changing colors

explore the lush yayoi kusama gallery at brazil's inhotim contemporary art center
small gathering areas with wood benches along defined pathways invite visitors to linger

galeria-yayoi-kusama-MACh-arquitetos-rizoma-arquitectura-brazil-designboom-08a

designed as a vertical concrete plane, the pavilion connects the horizontal garden to the site’s slopes

 

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Yayoi Kusama, Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity (2009) | image © Leonardo Finotti
Yayoi Kusama, Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity (2009) | image © Leonardo Finotti
Yayoi Kusama, I’m Here. But Nothing (2000) | image © Leonardo Finotti
Yayoi Kusama, I’m Here. But Nothing (2000) | image © Leonardo Finotti
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project info:

 

project title: Yayoi Kusama Gallery

architecture: MACh Arquitectos, Rizoma Arquitectura

location: Inhotim, Brumadinho, Minas Gerais, Brazil

completion: 2023

photography: © Leonardo Finotti | @leonardofinotti

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