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Soumaya museum: shape, wireframe, discretization

2 / The keys for approaching the model /

Project info: Mexico City, Mexico, FR-EE Fernando Romero Enterprise, 2011

The Soumaya Museum was opened to the public on March 29, 2011. It has become an architectural icon in the heart of Mexico City and plays a key role in the transformation of the urban perception. The building has an organic and asymmetrical shape, reminding of twister or blizzard. This impression is further enhanced by the coating with hexagonal aluminum mirror modules. It gives the museum a different appearance depending on the weather, time of day and the viewer’s vantage point. The continuous interior exhibition space is spread over six levels. The building also includes an auditorium for 350 people, library, offices, a restaurant, a gift shop and a multi-purpose gathering lounge.

The parametric morphology of this project can be presented in three categories: form, structure and skin. Each of them has specific keys for approaching the model.

Form: shape

The building’s form is a rotated rhomboid, which has five angles on the base and four angles on the top. It is achieved by gradual transition from one figure to another along the vertical axis with a smooth rotation. The museum’s continuous 6-level promenade of exhibition is made by extruding of its cross section along the guide three dimensional curve.

Structure: wireframe

The structural part of the building is made with wireframe approach. The shell of the building is constructed with twenty-eight steel curved columns of different diameters and seven ring beams that braces the structure and guarantees its stability. This mesh allows to realize the project’s form.

Skin: discretization

The façade of the museum is made of 16,000 hexagonal aluminum modules that optimize the preservation and durability of the entire building. So, the whole building skin surface is based on a small specific element, which is multiplied and slightly changed in its size, following the surface direction and angle.


Published by Nadia


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