Lima, Peru / 2015

Off-earth Axis

Largely subterranean, this design for a new wing of the Lima Art Museum is based on a “tesseract:” an oblique extruded form that is oriented to imply an alternate gravity and maybe even physics. The object’s tilted position relative to the earth is emphasized by deep, wide joints at its intersection with the ground plane, implying that the object extends far underground. While the existing neoclassical museum building appears to reinforce or emerge from the ground, the tesseract is embedded in the earth, as if half-buried by the force of impact. The envelope features a panelization pattern that is purposely misaligned to the massing to add further intrigue to the building’s orientation and scale.

Glance Cutting

Glance-cut apertures in the tesseract provide additional daylighting for the interior and deep views into the space below. These apertures have compound shapes, including long, acute angles and ziggurat stepping derived from the stacked extrusions of the tesseract. On the inside, an uninterrupted, columnless space allows for maximum flexibility in the underground gallery. The tesseract is legible as involuted figures in the ceiling where it intersects the main building mass. A lively ‘circulation-object’ is nested within – and occasionally erupts from – thick poché walls and serves to bridge across exhibition spaces. As the circulation zigzags up along the tesseract walls, visitors encounter art from unexpected angles and have the sensation that they are tracking along a giant hollow monolith.

Location: Lima, Peru
Floor Area: 6,125 SM
Program: Adaptive re-use Museum
Client: MALI (Museo de Arte de Lima)