The Malba - Costantini Museum is the result of an international competition held as part of the Architecture Biennial/BA ‘97 for the construction of a new building to house Eduardo Costantini’s private collection of important works from various art movements in Latin America and Mexico. The building is located in a privileged central area of the city dedicated to culture and leisure. The external appearance of the exhibition galleries resembles large prisms of pure and simple geometric forms clad with limestone. The stone structures have been juxtaposed with glass surfaces, almost resting on them, marking the inside boundaries of the various public spaces as well as housing complementary activities: entrance, reception, bookshop, cafeteria, auditorium and offices. A large terrace integrated into the exhibition route houses some works from the sculpture collection. The project includes a number of large rooms that can be divided up into various galleries to adapt to the changing conditions of a constantly expanding collection. Plenty of “white boxes” with openings placed in such a way as to control the entrance of natural light form an ideal setting for contemplating works of art. The alternation of exhibition and resting spaces and the various openings that provide views of the surrounding environment, both inside the museum and outside, give it its unique spirit. Light plays an important part in the overall design of the building: it is a fundamental element linking "the container and its contents". The lighting design was based on the integration between lighting and architecture. The presence of natural light in all areas of the building is a constant factor. Long, narrow slots project light onto the walls while large skylights and small dormer windows let in daylight, controlled by a set of multiple “layers” which act both as filters and diffusers.
Malba - Costantini Foundation
General indoor and outdoor lighting
Arch. Gaston Atelmann
Photo: S. Magnano