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  3. New Taipei City Museum of Art Proposal / Federico Soriano Pelaez

New Taipei City Museum of Art Proposal / Federico Soriano Pelaez

New Taipei City Museum of Art Proposal / Federico Soriano Pelaez
aerial 01
aerial 01

Federico Soriano Pelaez shared with us their third prize winning proposal for the New Taipei City Museum of Art. Their aim was to design a museum which contains all museums. A museum which is the entirety of all the museums in the world. They collected 100 of the most important museums of art from around the world. It is architecture as a refined abstraction of a historic landscape. It is a recollection of generic fragments from the plans of the museums from around the world which will be inserted into the Taipei City Museum of Art. More images and project description after the break.

Do you want just another project? Do you want just another form? A form which evokes many others. Just one more among the uncountable collection of forms generated in recent years. Do you want an object? An object to be built soon and forgotten just as soon. One to be kept on shelves along with all the rest which is out of fashion. Or do we want to change and think in ideas instead of objects? Think in concepts and processes. Choose matters. Create pathways. Have ideas prevail over formal aspects. Leave the final solution as a mere support. Work with a temporality and foreign to trends. It seems to be appropriate when designing a museum of conceptual art. The concept is the piece of work itself.

aerial 02
aerial 02

Architecture is the visualization of a construction process. It generates forms. At the end there will be objects, but its aim is another one: to meet certain objectives (respond to a program, be the image of the culture of our time, engage in dialogue with society, enable public involvement, adjust to environmental commitments,…). What is important is to conceive the process which will optimize these elements when confronted with an idea. The concept is a process. We architects see the ideas. We feel the concepts. We abstract nature. We support masses with light. We vaporise stone. We solidify perceptions. We architects can change the essence of things for an substance opposed to the original and make them work. The concept handles matters and builds realities.

from the city
from the city

We have produced a lot, maybe too much. All the images in the world have already been printed. All the forms in the world have already been visualized. All the possible objects are here. You can see them, they are on Internet, in virtual libraries, on television, in our culture. If we are respectful with history we should recover all the images and put them in the foreground of today. We do not have to produce more. We have to manipulate. The objects exist. The concept is manipulation. In the contemporary world of recycling, production becomes post-production. Originality and invention go from the object to the means of manipulation. The same occurs in architecture. For us everything can be read as current architecture if we take a contemporary perspective on it. Both old buildings and that which doesn’t belong to the discipline of architecture. Concept is post-production.

hall
hall

We already know it: there no unambiguous and stable relationship between form and function. Today we understand, in architecture, that any function can fit into any form. We are capable of making any space work optimally. Generic spaces outperform multipurpose spaces. There is no problem in using any fragment of from. We can make them work.

bamboo forrest 01
bamboo forrest 01

What is a museum of conceptual art like? What is it like, an object or a concept? It is like anything. Like everything. Like nothing. Neither the form nor the objects are important, what is important is the concept which we apply to the idea of the public character or of culture. A reflection on what we think of history or on the idea of exhibiting. This will be what is important in the museum. What will make it work will be its content and the guides which will explain it. Conceptual art is synthetic, fast, linguistic, instrumental, operational. It is processual aesthetics. It reflects on its own data. The object is the act of thought. They are open objects, instructions. A work of conceptual art is a language, plus an object, plus a representation.

bamboo forrest 02
bamboo forrest 02

Architecture is already conceptual because it is an abstract procedure which recreates the act of constructing in a cultural, symbolic and perceptive action. Architecture is always a process to be thought, executed and lived. And the visible result is an object or building. The perceived result is always what abstract reflection which we have generated. A work of conceptual architecture is an object-program, plus a language over that object-program, plus a representation of that object-program. What would a museum be like? It is not a collection. It is not a storeroom. It is not a tour. It is not linear. It is not a fireworks display, but nor is it an empty place. It is not a place without memory. It is a relaxed walk. The public moves freely without following closely the organized routes. It is educational and recreational. It is a public space where anything can happen. It is many collections.

interior 01
interior 01

It is a museum which is all the museums in the world, both the imagined, the real and the possible. It is a museum which is a conceptual work on the actual museums, or the architecture. It is a museum which is recreated by the user. The visitors handle what they see, what they think they see, what they imagine they see and what they are explained they see.

interior 02
interior 02

The synthesized fragments from the collection of 100 museums of art from around the world. They are laid out in the same arrangement as the previous image. The forms relate through geometry and surface to a specific use. The programs are the refined and systemic agglutination of forms with coordinated uses. The sets are buried underground. The spaces are extremely varied. The routes are flexible. The connections allow to reorganize space and circulations. The pieces are spatially connected vertically, generating controlled lighting courtyards. There are other rooms with specific artificial lighting to conserve the works of art.

interior 03
interior 03

The museum of all museums reveals itself as fragments in a garden of bamboo swaying in the air. The reeds, in their pendular movement, offer glimpses of the visitors walking towards the buildings. Only a few have emerged of the whole hundred. But once inside, we are in the museum of all museums.

interior 04
interior 04

To create a connection with the city and the public services it is not necessary to generate runways, tunnels or vertexes to pull you in from the surroundings. A focal point is enough, an attractor in the landscape so we can reach it. A direction is enough. An urban sign. Reaching the museum is a landscape promenade, an urban experience. A utility road, hidden in the foliage, solves the access of vehicles to service areas and mechanized parking lots from the avenue which surrounds the park.

interior 05
interior 05

The museum consists of two underground levels for the exhibition spaces and bodies which protrude, the lobbies, access points and commercial areas. The parking lots and all the services necessary for the development of the energetic efficiency of the museum are the foundations of the complex. The spaces come together closely, generating multiple connections between them. The order is unimportant. The order is defined by the superposed routes dictated by the curators and educators. We have differentiated between the pieces whose genetic origin is a museum and the spaces added to give continuity to the whole complex. The former will consist of abstract materials (white floors and walls) while the latter will have a condition nearer to the earth (stone materials).

interior 06
interior 06

On this pattern of forms, of architectural patchworks, there has been a superposing of circulations, stairs and elevators which allow all circulations: all those possible (cultural routes), all those necessary (service personnel routes), and all those obligatory (fire escapes, movement of pieces). We have laid a variety of possible routes superposed on the previous plan: permanent collection, temporary exhibitions, children’s museum, conference hall, commercial spaces, leisure and restoration areas, administration and mechanic services. Each one of them has its own route, with their independent entry and exit points. The museum’s collections can be toured independently through each route or linearly, subsequently one after the other. All the accesses and exits meet in the lobbies. Each collection can also be toured following only the masterpieces or narrative or educational routes.

competition panel 01
competition panel 01

On this pattern of forms, of architectural patchworks, there has been a superposing of circulations, stairs and elevators which allow all circulations: all those possible (cultural routes), all those necessary (service personnel routes), and all those obligatory (fire escapes, movement of pieces). We have laid a variety of possible routes superposed on the previous plan: permanent collection, temporary exhibitions, children’s museum, conference hall, commercial spaces, leisure and restoration areas, administration and mechanic services. Each one of them has its own route, with their independent entry and exit points. The museum’s collections can be toured independently through each route or linearly, subsequently one after the other. All the accesses and exits meet in the lobbies. Each collection can also be toured following only the masterpieces or narrative or educational routes.

competition panel 02
competition panel 02

Openings of double and triple heights have been introduced to give continuity to the plans. Their dimensions allow the extension of the circulations, the views and the spaces. Lots of these openings extend themselves along the volumes which emerge in the garden. The cross-sections show the two exhibition levels resting on the solid foundation of the parking lots and the building’s mechanized systems. This liberated the roof and the emerging volumes making them landscape elements over the garden.

competition panel 03
competition panel 03

There is a garden which is outlined by men dominating nature, the French out of fashion garden, and there is another garden which men copy by imitating nature, the English landscape garden. But there is another garden which is created by nature where architecture enters without forcing itself on it. An enormous Bamboo garden. Dense. Vibrant. Homogeneously cut at a specific height. The wind sways the flexible stems. The public moves back and forth as another branch. In the background a building emerges. We approach it enjoying the scents. In the distance, the buildings rise above the sea of greenery and are visible from the city.

competition panel 04
competition panel 04

The building’s structure consists of horizontal solid concrete slabs and vertical cemented gabions, as well as some concrete walls and columns. Solid reinforced concrete slabs, 70 cm thick, are proposed for the horizontal direction. They have no joints so that they can efficiently transmit the horizontal forces caused by seismic loads. Slabs are post-tensioned in the cases that their large spans make it necessary. These concrete slabs are supported by vertical cemented gabions, concrete columns and walls located in the solid areas that have continuity in height.

competition panel 05
competition panel 05

As far as possible, slabs supporting vertical structural elements and acting as transfer beams have been avoided. Solid areas that have continuity in all levels have been selected to place the vertical structural gabions and concrete elements (columns or walls). Gabions have a considerable area, therefore they work under low compression stress. Ground anchors are placed inside the gabions beginning at the upper level down to ground level. They are necessary to support the tensile stresses that may occur under seismic conditions, as stone elements are not meant to resist them.

competition panel 06
competition panel 06

Each one of the information’s origins will be exhibited in the space as a unique and specific material. If they belong to the generic elements of the 100 museums they will be smooth matte-white plasterboard walls and coatings. It they belong to the original terrain they will be stone elements: naturally colored unpolished boards or gabions. If they are elements introduced and superposed on the previous systems (circulations, elevators, stairs,…) they will be elements built out of metal sheets, grated matte stainless steel.

competition panel 07
competition panel 07

An underground building is energetically sustainable. It can mean saving energy use between 18 and 25% of the total energy used. This relation is calculated without taking into account any sort of non-conventional sustainable energy system. The use of solar panels, heat recovery systems, alternative energy sources or micro-turbines will increase the total savings above mentioned. The isolation of the terrain and land keep the buried volume at a constant temperature. This is particularly beneficial in buildings without high peaks of users. The heat load produced or demanded by the visiting public is kept constant and compared with the volumes of air which are renewed they do not pose a significant temperature increase.

competition panel 08
competition panel 08

Art museums have currently eliminated natural lighting from their exhibition spaces. This is because natural light damages the works of art, their components and their conservation. It is only used in the lobbies and places which do not hold works of art. The museum which we propose, in this aspect, maintains the same criteria, thus being underground has not produced any kind of energy or lighting loss when compared to a conventional building. The use of ground energy is proposed for the heating and cooling of the complex. In the same way, the closeness of the river also adds areas for natural energy dissipation.

reference citizen kane
reference citizen kane

The system is composed of a heating and cooling generation unit, a horizontal network of distribution and particularized mounts for each room. This reduces the horizontal ducts in each level increasing the free height of these and means an independent use of each one of them respect the whole circuit. Micro-nozzles are proposed to be used hidden among the bamboo to solve the direct natural ventilation of specific spaces. The circuits will be reversible. In summer they will take the cold from the ground underneath for cooling purposes and in winter the use of possible geothermic energy for the generation of heat.

volumes
volumes

The Taipei City Museum of Conceptual Art can itself become an architectural work of conceptual art. Truly architectural spaces are so powerful that they are able to assimilate any programme or use; any sort of circulation. One of the main characteristics of architecture is its regeneration. The vast variety of spaces gives way to the possibility of a great repertoire of installations and museum criteria. A museum must have a linear route at the same time as an infinite number of possibilities of wandering along random paths. All this is organised through many doors and a personal programmed audio-guide, included in the entry price.

energy diagram
energy diagram

The control of the spaces of the museum by the curators must be limited to the control of illumination levels and temperature and hydrometric levels in these spaces, not of forms or typologies. The stone and rock walls intermingle with the stucco walls in the same way as our ideas of natural and artificial in our thoughts. 30.000 m2, 100 rooms, 1000 lm of exhibition wall, 1000 lm of illuminated walls.

In the Taipei City Museum of Conceptual Art the spaces which are normally closed to the public -storerooms, work places, services- are located in rooms which are of equal origin and importance as those which house the masterpieces. This makes them museum spaces and not service spaces. The public could even happen to visit them and admire what there might be there just as the other works of art of the museum. The stairs and elevators are new objects. They are a sort of furnishing which is added to generate the routes between the parts and, as such, they could be modified in the future to optimise those routes.

The variety of rooms could be closed for improvements, installations or modifications without interrupting the route. The system of panels and information technology help to reorganise the tours. Because each room is different, there could be the possibility of inviting the artists to perform in them, being extremely difficult for these artistic interventions, occurring from scratch, to be repeated. The rooms are sealed off from the exterior, therefore we will achieve absolutely artificial illumination and climatic conditions. We can have then, white-modern-aseptic-isolated-rooms or out-of-fashion-decorated-galleries.

Architects: Federico Soriano, Dolores Palacios Location: Taipei City, Taiwan Project Team: Marcos Zaragoza, Leticia Sáez, Carolina Cabello, Ana Pereira, Eduardo López, Daniel Jerez, Pedro Pitarch, Michael Rabold, Leticia Sáez Structure: BOMA Mechanical Systems: Urculo Ingenieros Landscape: Old Farmer Landscape Architecture Co. External Collaboration: UNNEA. Lain Satrustegui

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Cite: Alison Furuto. "New Taipei City Museum of Art Proposal / Federico Soriano Pelaez" 25 Oct 2011. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/178460/new-taipei-city-museum-of-art-proposal-federico-soriano-pelaez/> ISSN 0719-8884
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