Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona

Architect: Richard Meier
Address: Plaça dels Àngels 1, Barcelona, Spain
Area:13800 m2

"It seemed to me that the best approach would be to provide different kinds of exhibition or gallery spaces for the Museum, rather than a repetitive system of spaces, since the artworks to be shown would have different scales at different times - sometimes large, sometimes small, sometimes needing light, sometimes needing no light. So we developed a series of spaces that could accommodate all kinds of activities and exhibitions.
The ramp hall, which is primary circulation space, became that public space. You look out to the city on one side and into the galleries on the other side. As you move through the Museum, you are constantly aware of the ramp hall. It provides a space of orientation, a public space, a multi-use space, a space of access and circulation".

Located in an area that was previously a monastic enclave, this museum establishes a rigorous dialogue between the area's historic urban fabric and the contemporary art within. The nature of the site's existing paths and routes is reflected in the building's organization, most notably in the main entry, which is paralleled by a pedestrian passageway between the museum's public Sculpture Garden and a newly created plaza in front of the Museum, the Plaça dels Àngels. This paseo joins the existing pedestrian network running through the old city.
Overlooking the Plaça dels Àngels, the Museum's south facade displays a diversity of form appropriate to its rich context. The main entry is framed by an overhanging screen of planar elements and rectilinear windows. Linked visually to this clearly defined entry by a transparent, horizontally articulated glass screen, the Museum's Special Exhibition gallery is enclosed within a billowing shell. This lyrical wing resonates with the contemporary spirit of the Museum's collection and the expressive forms of the enclave's historic character. These elements front a white enameled panel wall, which runs the length of the building's spine. From the entry lobby, visitors ascend a vertical ramp within the triple-height Atrium. This extensively glazed atrium affords broad views of the Placa, orienting the visitor and mediating between the Museum's most public space and the volumes of the galleries.
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