© copyright 2017 Ja Architecture Studio Inc

Lima Art Museum (MALI) Expansion Competition

Lima, Peru

Birds eye view of the proposal with the light towers along Garcilaso De La Vega Avenue and extending to the north side of De Diciembre Avenue and onto Dammert Park.

Dotting the Edge
The new plaza on the west side of the Exposition Palace restores the original ground plane of this prominent corner, making it accessible from all sides. This large linear plaza, paved with permeable stones and dotted with mature trees, extends from Parque Juana Larco de Dammert to Parque de la Exposición creating a visual connection across the busy street. While each of these important parks offer much necessary green space for repose, this new plaza offer a gallery for the city - an urban scaled surface from which museum goers, tourists, and commuters alike can gather amongst the city’s finest examples of culture.

Site Plan

This plaza is framed by a line of slender towers which establishes an urban edge and frames the plaza without impeding views of the façade of the Exposition Palace. Aligned along the urban edge, these iconic figures give a sense of presence to Garcilaso De La Vega Avenue. The towers will allow for a vertical passage to the spaces below grade. Passage into the museum can happen both from the park across the road via the new metro station’s concourse level or through the aggregation of towers which marks the main entrance to the new museum.

Tower's Typology

Entrance to the new museum wing begins with a set of playful ramps which widen as they approach the museum threshold and becoming a sloped promenade leading to the concourse level of the museum. Along this promenade, light from the towers illuminates the space below, creating a chiaroscuro type effect. Antithetical to the ornate interior of the original structure - its strong form is more akin to the grand infrastructural project to which it is connected. This elegant concrete warehouse is minimally detailed with generously high ceiling allowing for multiple functions and vibrant and flexible curatorial strategies. The large freight elevators not only help to make some of the back of house event visible but also allow for new possibilities for presentation of art work contained within the museum.

Plan of Foyer & Library
Left: Historical photograph of site from MALI Archive from 1950 | Right: Reviving the history bringing back the open plaza, 2018

The Dialogue
At the end the three elements - the plaza, the towers and the museum, create a vibrant and easy to access public space above ground and a functional and spacious gallery below. Further they allow for a range of curatorial and almost voyeuristic possibilities of interaction between the two. From an innocent pause of a bypasser at night who peaks into the life of a museum below, to a dynamic art installations on the moving platforms, the proposal aim to allure the city into the new museum wing. In sum, a novel dialogue between the art, people and the city of Lima, with its new museum, starts to unwind.

Left: The Plaza | Right: The Light Towers
Plan of Gallery
View of the Plaza from De Diciembre Avenue towards the park and the dialog between the towers and the palace.
Ground Floor Plan
Image of the museum space with the ramp laminated with sunlight filtering through the light towers.
Shots of a sectional physical model depicting the art crate and the tower on the right.
Plan of Storage & Equipment
Leads: Nima Javidi, Behnaz Assadi
Team members: Kyle O'Brien, Irina Rouby Apelbaum, Yang (Calvin) Yue, Phat Le