Designed for Fundacion Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat as the client, Colección de Arte Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat is a public art museum located in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Completed by Rafael Viñoly Architects in 2005, this 6,920 square meters museum has an arched roof with 12 operable louvers controlling the amount of sunlight that enters the museum building.
This art museum is for the extensive modern and contemporary European and Argentine art collection of an art collector, Argentine businesswoman, and also philanthropist Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat. It is also an innovative display of architecture in a historic setting. The museum building can reflect its waterfront context of Puerto Madero: a historic canal and a rapidly revitalizing industrial district of brick warehouses and docks. It also can a contemporary architecture that suits the art display.
The goals of the design are accomplished most prominently in the arched roof that has 12 operable louvers. These louvers can control the amount of sunlight that enters the museum building. This roof is a glazed barrel vault over the mezzanine galleries and main floor with steel ribs. These ribs provide support for the series of overlapping louver panels and high-quality glazing.
These computer-controlled panels can be positioned variously to shade the gallery, introduce diffused light, or open the gallery to the sky partially. This way depends on the weather conditions and time of the day. The louvers can be opened at night completely, turning the museum building into a translucent, glowing presence on the water. It also offers the visitors awesome views of the city skyline.
On the building’s far side, the concrete spine recalls the formerly industrial port whereas the operable roof permits awesome visual connections between the inside of the main gallery and the glass towers of downtown. The building volume can define a clear streetwall and provides a structural spine to support the vaulted roof at its apex. This volume also houses the services spaces and main circulation that connect the ground floor to the main gallery above and the storage areas and the basement gallery below.
The visitors can enter the museum through a double-height lobby at the ground level. There is also a cafe located across the breezeway from the main entrance that accessible and the museum’s open-air plaza. It ables to integrate the museum into the neighborhood public life. Two exterior terraces extend the main gallery floor to provide additional outdoor spaces for socializing also viewing awesome downtown Buenos Aires.
Colección de Arte Amalia Lacroze de Fortabat Gallery
Photographer: Santiago Pinyol and Mariana Murcia