MALI Museum Extension, Lima, Peru

Two A.UD faculty, Andrew Kovacs and Wonne Ickx each received honorable mention prize for their designs according to the jury they "were essential during the deliberation process, for their originality, daring or because they helped shape the discussion."  A few months ago, the Art Museum of Lima (MALI) announced an international call for a competition to design a new contemporary art wing via an underground expansion. The competition received 387 proposals from 56 countries.

MALI Museum Extension, Lima, Peru
Image credit: OK / Andrew Kovacs. Image Courtesy of Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI) 


This proposal for MALI’s New Contemporary Art Wing calls for a volume to be submerged beneath the ground directly across from the Exhibition Palace. Submerging the proposal turns the roof into a new ground and public square for the people of Lima. Follies and kiosks at various scales and sizes, and various degrees of usefulness, are freely and loosely scattered across the roof’s translucent surface and into the park. Three fixed structures on the roof provide street level access to the new contemporary art wing below.

Inside the submerged volume, a large hypostyle hall proportions the space. The galleries are proposed to be at the base of this new submerged volume and their sizes are further modulated by the columns of the hypostyle hall, allowing for open gallery circulation and flexible curatorial strategies between single height, double height, triple height and quadruple height display spaces. 

Together the interior boulevard and the subterranean towers form a figural infrastructure that effectively contain open and flexible trays for activity. Inserted into the volume of the large hypostyle hall this armature not only concentrates program and circulation but generates visual connections between various activities, the gallery, the roof and the metro. Finally, the greater ambition of this proposal is to further collapse the distinction between art and life and allow for seamless connections between activities that may otherwise be disconnected.  

MALI Museum Extension, Lima, Peru

Image credit: PISO NUEVE / PRODUCTORA. Image Courtesy of Museo de Arte de Lima (MALI)

"Instead of elaborating on the differences between the new addition and the historic building – so often the case in these kind of exercises – the proposal establishes a continuity between both architectural components. The decisive gesture is the excavation of a deep rectangular patio next to the actual museum, implementing an interior facade that mimics the order and proportion of the neoclassical elevation, establishing a dialogue between the existing building and its contemporary addition. "

Collaborators: Juan Benavides, Diego Velazquez, Gerardo Aguilar, Oswaldo Delgadillo.