New Tamayo Museum by Rojkind Arquitectos
and BIG



Rojkind Arquitectos and Copenhagen architects BIG have won a competition to design a museum overlooking Mexico City.


The cross-shaped museum will occupy a hillside above the city and incorporate a large viewing platform on the roof.


Cantilevered exhibition spaces provide shade for the social spaces beneath.


Packaging, restoration and storage areas will also be open to visitors.


The information below is from 
Michel Rojkind of Rojkind Arquitectos:


New Tamayo Museum overlooking Mexico City

Michel Rojkind and BIG win competition for cultural museum in Mexico.

Set upon a steep hillside in Atizapan on the outskirts of Mexico’s largest metropolis will soon sit the New Tamayo Museum. The building will serve as a nucleus of education and culture - locally, regionally, and internationally – and continue to carry the name of the Oaxacan born artist Rufino Tamayo (1899-1991). The very strong and symbolic shape of the cross is a direct interpretation of the client’s preliminary program studies, defining an optimized organizational scheme for the Tamayo’s visitors and administrators.


The main concept of MUSEO TAMAYO EX-TENSION ATIZAPAN is an “Opened Box” that unfolds, opens and invites the visitors inside. Packaging, restoration and storage will serve as additional cultural spaces for visitors to understand and experience the stages that an art piece goes through before it is exhibited. The "open box” exhibits both the art work and the varied processes of a museum.


This is a very direct, strong and symbolic project, where the shape works effectively for both internal spaces and external. The cantilevered form enhances the best views above the interior art spaces, while shading the more social type spaces below. Exterior and interior spaces overlap to provide the best environment possible for each function, and optimal climatic performance.


Michel Rojkind, Rojkind Arquitectos: 
Understanding that contemporary art spaces pretend to be more important than the art they contain, our proposal arises from the scheme of requirements previously studied by our clients, assuring maximum functionality in each area while focusing on the development of art projects. By enhancing the program and understanding the topography, a balance between form, function and visual impact for this important space was created. Once the functional part was improved, we could give attention to details that make the space not only a culture enclosure, but also a building that understands its surroundings to distinguish itself and transform from a simple form to a powerful symbol, controversial, but ideal to lodge this new space.


MUSEO TAMAYO EX-TENSION ATIZAPAN makes the best of the steep terrain allowing the galleries to shade the more social programs below, exterior and interior spaces overlap to provide the best environment possible for each function, and optimal climatic performance. The permeable brick shading façade eliminates or reduces the need for AC and combines good daylight with no sunshine and plenty of natural ventilation. Although it will be the museums symbolic provocation of its form and content that will attract its visitors, once there they will discover that its design, though modest, is intelligently and sustainably planned.


Bjarke Ingels, BIG Partner-in-Charge
: When you ask contemporary artists what kind of space they would prefer to exhibit their work in – they almost always describe old industrial warehouses or loft spaces. It is the kind of space where they have their studios, but most importantly the rough structures, with large spans and generous ceiling heights provides them with the maximum freedom of expression. On the other hand the museum director or the mayor might want an icon that to attract visitors. So museum design is often caught in a dilemma between the artists demand for functional simplicity and the museum’s (and architect’s) desire to create a landmark. The cantilevering cross is the literal materialization of the cruciform functional diagram – devoid of any artistic interpretation. MUSEO TAMAYO EX-TENSION ATIZAPAN becomes the embodiment of pure function and pure symbol at the same time.


SIZE 3.500 M2

BIG Architects
Partners-in-Charge: Bjarke Ingels & Andreas Klok Pedersen
Team: Pauline Lavie, Maxime Enrico, Pål Arnulf Trodahl
 Rojkind Arquitectos
Partner-in-Charge: Michel Rojkind
Team: Agustín Pereyra, Monica Orozco, Ma. Fernanda Gómez, Tere Levy, Isaac Smeke, Juan José Barrios, Roberto Gil Will, Beatriz Díaz, Joe
 Structural Engineer: 
Romo y asociados
Landscape Design: 
Entorno taller de paisaje
Graphic Design: 
Ernesto Moncada
 Glessner Group - GermánGlessner

Posted on Tuesday April 28th 2009 at 2:50 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • m

    just leave jesus out of this one. . . wtf’s with the crucifix??

  • g

    man, the cruciform just won’t quit…

    that aside, I like this very much – more renderings/drawings please!

  • Autobahn by Kraftwerk

    Bjarke! you are the darwin of our time!!

  • cgcg

    do the, do the, do the, do the, do the d.a.n.c.e.

  • gaque

    the brick looks like a gramazio kohler copy..

  • yes

    and where is rojkind’s sumbission? :)


  • naiza

    nice materials

  • Klaus

    The renderings are nice, but i would have loved to see some plans and sections or diagrams…i usually love BIG’s as well as Rojkind’s architecture, but with just a few renderings it is quite difficult to understad the whole project…
    Anyway this is nice…!

  • Matthew

    Yet again – Crucifix = One with Jesus on it, Cruciform or Cross = the form reflected in the building.
    Aside from the fact that it is a religious symbol, which is obviously not the intent of this design, it is fairly nice from the renderings so far.

  • zeus

    Very nice.
    Another nail in the coffin of all blobs.
    Who did the visuals, does anyone know?

  • Captain Q

    the power of CG! suceeesss!!

  • Esta poca madre!!! Rojkind and BIG always give us nice pieces. And what to talk about!!

  • urmoma says

    Nothing screams advancment in architecture like the Cantilever. Oh! I almost forgot primitive geometric form dating back centuries, Genuis. Another nail in the coffin of people who can’t create geometery outside of Autocad. Zeus is an apt name, Dinosaur.

  • Wow what an interesting comment Zeus !!!
    But do you even understand what is this conflict ?
    The blob vs the square, this battle never really ended…
    French Gothic vs Cistercian architecture , Bernini vs Perrault, Gaudi vs Corbusier, Saarinen vs SOM, Jørn Utzon vs Sydney, Future System vs Tadao Ando, Hadid vs Zumthor…

  • David Klemmer

    Wow. I can’t tell if this is good in context and form, neither in functionality because of missing floor-plans etc, but what i definitely have to say: These renderings are very nice and have an amazing quality! Very warm and personal. Please tell us more about the cross-shape! Nice project.

  • hernindya

    eero sarinen’s war memorial ?

  • guess we can never escape religion. but nonetheless, a spectacular building and amazing visuals.! Great work!

  • chapmaniac

    I really didnt need the BIG diagrams to explain this one thanks. Nice work though Rojkind.

  • Somo

    love the diversity of the gallery spaces… it’s like a joke on art museum – white box multiplied to pain threshold – thought we were over that. glad it so clearly relates to context tho. And imagine that baking shadeless roof a joy to bask in Mexican sun…

  • Somo

    Actually the grand stairs underneath would be a good place to be.. as long as they got the cantilever worked out…

  • Luxury Larry

    When this is completed….the view from the platform is going to be amazing! Might be good to have some kinda of pool as well.

  • ray

    what a superstudio style distinct view looking to the city~~~~

  • nl architects did the same shape as a floating church 8 years ago.
    the museum has an interesting aproach though and is of course totally different.

  • Pierre Sinsua

    crucifix has something to do with the mexican society i believe. religion aside, the crucifix is ironically a perfect design for a symbol

  • Gabriel Navarro

    Well Judging from the concept they didn’t mean to make a religion allusion it was just a result of geometric works, as the unfolding of the cube, other than that, Rojkind Arquitects are being faithful to their filosophy, that of not just working with organic shapes and geometries, but instead considering everything there is in nature as a source of inspiration to give a solution to the problem in hand.

  • Bruno Jaramillo

    Awesome BIG did it again Bjarke you are a genius

  • EDSA

    Navarro & Jaramillo, are you out of your mind or what…don’t you see how screens from building are all blocking views…I don’t get your comments says that it’s great job or giving a solution to a problem…how narrow is your mind…I’ve seen really nice job from BIG & ROJKIND but not this time….

  • zeroplan

    competition goes on: who has the biggest! the rest isn´t that important…

    it perfectly fits in what the world apparently expects:


    the diagram shows it perfectly: a cube which seem to contain something – then you realize it is empty: you get a flat plain surface….

  • miguel

    I dont think that a this kind of museum was stablished in ATIZAPAN¡¡¡¡
    that´s a very bad neighborhood .
    And it´s incredible that the TAMAYO people gives this kind of proyect to a foreinger architects instead of Mexican ones, here we have also very best proffesionals.

  • Max

    Very nice. The way it ‘grows’ out of the topography reminds me a bit of Le Corbusier’s sketches for Montevideo and Sao Paolo.

  • damfak

    love it. Rojkind rules!
    The cross-shape, you can identifide it because you are looking a render, from the point of view of the visitor it will become a big white box… with large windows high celings and hopefully masterpices from national and international artists.

    The permeable brick shading façade, makes an awsome texture from faraway it will look amazing!…

  • antonia

    As always BIG is good at plotting a concept in simple diagrams, and serve it up with eye-catching renderings and model photos. And as always there is nothing wrong with that, and it is a good and solid path for their business. BUT PLEASE STOP CALLING BJARKE “THE DARWIN OF OUR TIMES” – he is just another professional architect who matters to have a lot of wind blowing his direction for the moment!

    To whether the project is good or bad…? Lets just say it most have been the best for the client, they held the competition and selected the winner! End of comment.

  • srta bau

    hello! does anyone knows the exact place of the construction to take a peek ? I think it’s difficult to make an opinion about the design, its simple and i’d rather wait for its oppening to have a look and state something but at least it’s located in a place that needs this kind of spaces very very much, even if its hard for people to understand it or accept it its a good step. Anyhow i do agree this should have been given to a mexican architect.
    Peace :)

  • PRO

    Michel Rojkind was born in Mexico, therefore he IS mexican… has lived, studied and worked there most of his life. His association with BIG for this project surely was a result of an intentional search for succesfull and different points of view and approaches to a solution for this particular task. Wether this project will become a future architectural reference point of visit or if it will be consumed by the ever-growing-with-no-planning-whatsoever chaotic Mexico City’s suburbs in the near future has yet to bee seen… and the later will most probably happen…

  • Zaida

    Hey man! I saw you in La Ciudad de las Ideas, and I loved your work, you know, it’s wonderful that we can see so creative people as you, and that you put your eyes in projects so interesting that could be developed in my country, Congratulations and I’ll visit the Museum as soon as it’s open. Zaida_val at tweeter

  • lindo!

  • gabs

    Ppl please don’t be so narrow-minded, not everything cruciform has something to do with religion!

  • carlosmnss

    Carlitos says; i want to express itself in spanish ; Otra altirnativa es el acantilado de la carretera cuernavaca – cd. méxico , en el punto en donde ahora se encuentra un restaurante , falta infraestructura , claro , creo es un lugar que puede ser aprovechado por su vista panoramica y su sentido de libertad y de la misma cd. de méxico .
    Exelente muetra arquitectonica .

  • Hanan Hisham

    Simple but smart design. I liked the idea of the elevated cross because this will allow shaded spaces beneath the building for the visitors to sit and enjoy the view and it will provide a wider and broader view on the city for the people from inside the museum. I also liked the idea of the roof, so the roof, which is usually ignored or considered as useless, is serving a function here. I would like to go and spend sometime on that roof.
    By the way, this museum reminds me by "The Church of Light" by Tadao Ando, maybe because both of them are sharing the cross symbol !! But the cross in the church is an icon, but here in the museum it is forming the whole building.