Museu de Arte do Rio by
Bernardes + Jacobsen Arquitetura

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With all eyes on Rio ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games, Brazilian firm Bernardes + Jacobsen Arquitetura has grouped three disused buildings under an undulating roof to create a new art museum and art school (+ slideshow + photographs by Leonardo Finotti).

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

The Museu de Arte do Rio, which opened last month, occupies the renovated interiors of the Palacete Dom João, an early-twentieth-century palace beside Mauá Square in Rio's port. Meanwhile, the Escola do Olhar school is inserted within a former police building and bus station next door.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

Inspired by the shape of waves, Bernardes + Jacobsen Arquitetura added an undulating concrete canopy over both of the buildings, sheltering a new outdoor bar and events space on the rooftops.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

"We had the challenge of proposing an icon," architect Bernardo Jacobsen told the Rio Times. "The more modern building had two extra floors so we eliminated these to balance the set. Then we built a wave over the two, almost like a flying object."

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

The museum of art comprises eight double-height galleries, accommodated across four near-identical floors. A ground floor entrance leads in through the centre of the facade, where visitors can either head straight towards the exhibitions or take a lift up to the roof.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

The neighbouring school is an elevated structure supported by pilotis. The architects have cleaned up the ground floor area to create a public square, while a small sculpture area is positioned alongside.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

Three levels of classrooms, workshops and exhibition rooms begin on the first floor, plus a library and auditorium are located on the fourth floor and a bridge links the two buildings on the next level up.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

The Museu de Arte do Rio opened to the public with four eclectic exhibitions of Brazilian and international art.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

Above: site plan - click for larger image

The renovated palace won't be the only museum completed ahead of the 2016 Olympic games. The Museum of Image and Sound Rio by Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Casa Daros, a museum of Latin American art, by Paulo Mendes da Rocha are also set to open in the next three years. See more architecture in Brazil on Dezeen.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

Above: ground floor plan - click for larger image

See more photography by Leonardo Finotti on Dezeen or on the photographer's website.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

Above: mezzanine level - click for larger image

Read on for more project details from Jacobsen Arquitetura:


MAR - Art Museum of Rio

Our challenge was to unite three existing buildings with different architectural characteristics to house the Museu de Arte do Rio, the school "A Escola do Olhar" as well as cultural and leisure spaces. The existing buildings, the palace "Palacete Dom João", the police building and the old central bus station of Rio, connected shall be part of the major urban redevelopment in the historic downtown of Rio de Janeiro. For each construction we analysed different levels of preservation.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

Above: first floor plan - click for larger image

The first step was to establish a flow system allowing the Museum and school to work in an integrated and efficient manner. Therefore we proposed the creation of a suspended square on the police building rooftop, which will unite all accesses and host a bar and an area for cultural events and leisure. Consequently, the visitation will be from top to bottom.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

Above: second floor plan - click for larger image

It was established that the palace, due to its large ceiling height and structure free plan should hold the exhibition areas of the museum. The police building shall be used for the school, auditoriums, multimedia exhibition areas, administration areas and employee areas of the complex.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

Above: third floor plan - click for larger image

The stilts, currently used as an access to the road, will turn into a large foyer for entire complex, and will hold the sculpture exhibition areas. Access will be controlled between the two buildings, characterizing this empty space as internal, open and covered. The marquee of the Road, heritage element listed by the City, will be used for lavatories, store and region of loading, unloading and deposits.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

Above: fourth floor plan - click for larger image

The connection and circulation of visitors between the two buildings, in the form of a suspended catwalk will belong to this new building, featuring the most unusual state possible.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

Above: fifth floor plan - click for larger image

For the police building, we propose the suspension of the last floor to balance the height of the two buildings as well as the replacement of the masonry closing façade profiles using translucent glass, making the structural system of indented columns visible and revealing the stilts.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

Above: sixth floor plan - click for larger image

Finally as the main mark of the project, we suggested that the suspended square have an abstract and aerial form. A fluid and extremely light structure, simulating water surface waves. A poetic architectural character full of meaning, simple and at the same time modern in regards to the structural calculation. This element shall be seen near and by far, and from below to who is arriving at the Praça Mauá, from above by those who are at the Morro da Conceição.

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

Above: cross-section - click for larger image

Museu de Arte do Rio by Jacobsen Arquitetura

Above: elevation - click for larger image

  • Colonel Pancake

    It feels like a very deliberate decision to only include one (ambiguous and unimpressive) interior shot.

  • Anton

    It’s so elegant. I really really like it.

  • Mr Bongo

    THIS IS IT! This is as good as it gets!

    Bravo!

  • http://twitter.com/burtja @burtja

    I love that floaty roof. I would love to see a section, I’m sure it’s good detailing and workmanship that makes it appear so thin. My faith in Brazil has been partially restored.

  • http://www.zazous.co.uk Kate Austin

    Really effective. Fantastic way to incorporate the old with the new and create something really special. Shame the Museum of Modern Art in NY doesn’t have the same imagination!

  • zizi

    Nice concept. Parabens!

  • bonsaiman

    I feel SO relieved they did not pull down the old buildings. Here in Brazil the word of the moment, “renovation”, equals “demolition”. Thank you guys!

    • http://twitter.com/eatrio_net @eatrio_net

      So true bonsaiman! It’s a real shame how many beautiful old buildings are left to deteriorate here in Rio. Great to see this one being renovated and tastefully incorporated into something modern. Also great that locals and visitors alike will be able to enjoy this development for many years to come.

  • Denise Silva

    Combinação Perfeita. Admirável!

  • marcelogardinetti

    The plane suspended is the element that characterizes the project.