- Year : 2008
- Collaborators : Daniel Icikson, Nicolás Margherit
- Client : Agencia Córdoba Cultura / Gobierno de la Provincia de Córdoba
- Sector A : Refuncionalización y ampliación Museo Emilio Caraffa (I)
- Project : MZARCH – Mendoza/Mendoza/Margherit Arquitectos Asociados
- Technical Management : MZARCH – Mendoza/Mendoza/Margherit Arquitectos Asociados
- Site Management : Adrián Castagno
- Consultants : Fragueiro & Novillo Ings., Ing. A. Bastet, Ingeniar S.A., Tecnoseguridad S.R.L., Ing. H. Mangupli, Maestre Iluminación, Radyk & Aguirregomezcorta.
- Surface Area : 2100 m2
- Sector B : Museo Emilio Caraffa (Ampliación II) - Ex I.P.E.F.
- Design Team : GGMPU Arquitectos – Gramática/Morini/Pisani/Urtubey + Lucio Morini
- City : Córdoba
- Country : Argentina
The remodeled Emilio Caraffa Museum, which adds the annexation of the building of the former Institute of Physical Education, is part of a larger complex that includes the new Palacio Ferreyra Museum. The new Caraffa Museum has, on one hand, a variety of showrooms mainly for temporary exhibitions and, on the other hand, the necessary premises for the technical support of the entire complex such as cataloging, classification, research, restoration, warehouses for receipt of funds from both museums, library, administration, programming, design and assembly of exhibitions, etc..
The project for what is now called Caraffa Museum was commissioned to Hungarian architect Johannes Kronfuss, who in 1915 concluded the project based on a neoclassical approach that should, in a first stage, house the Museum and in another later stage, house the Applied Arts School of the Province. Only a quarter of this project was built in 1916. In 1962 the museum was expanded as a regular prism designed internally with mezzanines that occupied the space that Kronfuss had imagined as the central courtyard of the museum. In turn, in 1938 the IPEF building was constructed, designed by architect Bottaro. In 2006 it was decided to expand and remodel the Caraffa, entrusting GGMPU with the museum project itself and a new connector building (Sector A) that would link it to the built IPEF, whose design was commissioned to architects MZARCH (Sector B).
The main concept that guided the design of the complex was the generation of a new art museum, capable of grouping and linking the many facets of contemporary art. We preserved the existing surfaces of the original buildings so that the new bodies relate to the bodies of the past in a continuous sequence. The internal layout of the buildings is through horizontal and vertical connectors that link different areas and exhibition rooms where visitors are free to explore the spaces, generate their own itineraries or move through preset tours.
In Sector A, designed by GGMPU and Lucio Morini, the existing building presented some complexities manifested in problems of accessibility, fragmentation of interior spaces into planes at half levels difficult to cross, and unsuitable heights for exhibition spaces, which added to the dispersion of the buildings on the ground. The idea of the intervention was to design a building-connector that would develop in space, joining all existing parts, allowing them to maintain their own individuality and original character and at the same time express a strong unit whole. This building-connector materialized by using a metal structure manifested outwardly through a glass surface of diverse transparencies and opacities.
The scaling of the museum, which went from 1200m ² to 4400m ², proposed a change in its center of gravity. This led to the modification of the main entrance now through a square at the sidewalk level, solving the problem of accessibility to disabled and elderly persons present in the original access. On this same level is the cafeteria and art library, both with direct access from the square. On the second level, the storage areas and services of the original building were transformed into a new exhibition room.
On the third level, interior slabs at half levels from the 1962 expansion were demolished and replaced by a new slab unifying the space, giving it greater height and leveling it with rooms restored from the 1916 building which now have continuity with a foyer in cantilever that is developed over the entrance plaza. Both reaffirm the piano nobile condition presented by the original project. This new foyer has another access for students who arrive in their transport.
On the next level up is the access to a room-bridge that connects to the adjacent building (ex IPEF) forming a continuous loop with the group of exhibitions rooms located there.
Taking advantage of existing conditions, the project has established a multitude of halls whose shapes, sizes, heights and lighting allow the development of a wide variety of art forms.