A private museum owned by the Carlos Slim Foundation with free admission. The exhibits represent extensive art, religious relics, historical documents, and the coin collection of Carlos Slim and his late wife Soumaya, after whom the museum was named.
The exhibition was originally located at the site of an old paper factory. In 2011 it was moved to its new location, a six story, 46 – meter high building featuring an amorphous shape. The construction was conceived as a sculpture that would reflect its function and become an icon for Mexico City. Its very unusual shape allows every visitor to perceive it in a different way according to their approach, providing each person with a unique perspective and mental image of the building. The museum has a narrow entrance that opens into a large white gallery; the upper floor is opened so that it would allow the maximum amount of sunlight to enter the exhibition. The façade is made from translucent concrete(covered by 16,000 hexagonal aluminum tiles) that filters light, making the spaces feel light and open, so that the visitors may not feel constraint by walls or a tight space and enjoy the exhibition.
Once inside, the intermediate levels are open to each other in a continuous, unique volume, but partially separated by enclosed areas, making all spaces unique in their shape and form. In addition to the art galleries, the new building contains a library, restaurant, and an auditorium that seats 350 people. Because of the variety of functions, people visiting the museum can truly relax and meditate upon what they’ve observed. The weight of the building is upheld by an exoskeleton of 28 curved steel vertical columns and seven beams encircling the structure built by a Slim owned company that manufactures offshore oil rigs. In addition, the roof is kept stable through its suspension from a cantilever.
Unlike most cultural centers which are built with public money, Museo Soumaya was funded by a corporation and the funder has spared no expense. That’s why the result is so imposing, extravagant and quite an astonishing piece of architecture. And because the designers were not limited by the costs of their project, this has become an icon for modern architecture and technology.
Photo courtesy to Courtesy FREE and Bruce Damonte
Costs: $800 mil
Project :Museo Soumaya, Mexico City
Client :Fundación Carlos Slim
Architect : FREE Fernando Romero Enterprise, Mexico City
Interior Designer: FREE, MYT—Andrés Mier y Teran (CEO)
Structural Engineer : Colinas de Buen
Construction Manager : Inpros
General Contractor: Carso Infraestructura y Contrucción
Lighting Designer: Lighteam—Gustavo Avilés
Façade Consultant :Gehry Technologies
Size :336,946 square feet (including basement)
Acoustical System Consultant: Omar Saad
Carpet :Brio Design
Concrete : Lacosa
Exterior Wall Systems :Industrial Afiliara (aluminum hexagon cladding) industrialafiliada.com; Grace Construction Products (waterproof membrane) graceconstruction.com; Geometrica Design (galvanized steel plates, 3D structural mesh) gemetrica.com; Swecomex (tubular columns) swecomex.com; USG Corp. (Sheetrock) usg.com; Ypasa (poliesthirene insulation, concrete plaster, elasticated plaster) ypasa.com.mx
Flooring :Hankö (German white oak) hankogroup.com; Alta Spain (Greek marble)
Furniture :Industrias Ideal (auditorium seats) industriasideal.com; ArqT (carpentry)
Glass : Aluvisa aluvisa.com
HVAC : Dypro-Cyvsa
Insulation: Ypasa ypasa.com.mx
Lighting : Lighteam lighteam.eu
Masonry and Stone : PC Constructores
Millwork : Hankö hankogroup.com; ArqT
Plumbing and Water System Hubard y Bourlon
Roofing Swecomex (steel structure) swecomex.com; Lacosa (concrete); Ypasa (coating) ypasa.com.mx
Wallcoverings Plaster (tecnomuro); Weatherlastic (elasticated plaster)
Wayfinding Recisa recisa.com
Windows, Curtainwalls, and Doors AGR agrpuertasmetalicas.com; Dimeyco cestek-dimeyco.com.mx