ARCHITECT: David Chipperfield Architects
with Taller Abierto de Arquitectura y Urbanismo
CLIENT: Colección Júmex
AWARDS WON: RIBA AWARD FOR INTERNATIONAL EXCELLENCE
shortlist: riba international prize
A structure that celebrates the industrial heritage of its site context in Mexico City, David Chipperfield Architects' Museo Jumex is home to the largest private collection of Latin American contemporary art in the world. Centrally located in a bustling and overcrowded city, the building offers a contemplative space in which visitors can escape the rush of the city.
A large public space is divided across three spacious levels; a glazed Piano Nobile gallery anda flexible secondary space punctuated by a single large window flooding the space with light. The top floor opens out to present the museum’s collection under a soft diffused daylight through original factory roof lights. The quality of light distinctive to Chipperfield’s practice defines the space, as does the consistent sense of quality in the materials and subtle detailing that separate public from work space. A characteristic dialogue of travertine and timber marks the Museo Jumex as a remarkable building.
The calm serene presence of the building within its busy context owes much to the simplicity of its form, the solidity of its stone facades and the joyfulness of its caricature industrial skyline. The building emanates an impressive yet calm presence within the chaos and loudness of its context. It is an oasis of calm where art is seemlessly presented in the public realm. The quality of material, detailing and delivery is exceptional and is immediately apparent from the outside and then from within. The building is luxuriously opulent in its use of solid, rich materials and yet is open and inviting. The visitor is not invited to spectate but invited to be part owner of this luxurious yet democratic structure.
The project celebrates, and delivers contemporary art into public life. The ground plane is given over to a large open public art space with an impressive programme of events. The public space drifts past massive open timber doors into the shaded areas under the building's skirts to the head of the staircase before any semblance of security is engaged. The edge of the under-croft framing a 180 degree panoramic slice of modern Mexico City.
From then on the visitor climbs the beautiful travertine stair to three magnificently varied galleries. The glazed Piano Nobile gallery set within open gallery terraces, the second a flexible simple internalised gallery floor with a single punched window onto the city and last the vast internalised top floor with its factory roof-lights casting a magical suffused daylight. In the alternative the top floor can be accessed by the giant passenger freight lift and the visitor can descend through the collection. All parts of the building are detailed to the same high quality including the public toilets, staff areas and director's suite. Unusually the architects have delivered a travertine floor throughout the building which lends a great sense of gravitas and beauty to the galleries. All services are integrated away from sight with total professionalism. Air is supplied through gaps in the travertine paving. The building is highly flexible in use. Variations in day-lighting from zenithal sunlight to artificial make it a delight for curators.
CONTRACTOR: GRUPO PC CONSTRUCTORES S.A. DE C.V.
STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS: ARUP / ALONSO Y ASOCIADOS
SERVICES ENGINEER: ARUP / IASCA
COST CONSULTANT: INTERCOST
Lighting Design: Arup
Electrical Engineer: Asociados A
Fire Protection Consultant: BMS i
Graphics: John Morgan Studio
Project Management: Inpros
Façade Consultant: Soluciones en Piedra Franco
Building Management System: BMS i
INTERNAL AREA: 4,000 SQM
date of occupation: 11/2013
PHOTOGRAPHER: Simon Menges