Museo Soumaya in Polanco, Mexico City, designed by FREE Fernando Romero EnterprisE, opened to the public on March 29, 2011 after four years of development. images: Adam Wiseman
The Museum is located on a former industrial zone dating from the 1940’s which today presents a very high commercial potential. It plays a key role in the reconversion of the area: as a preeminent cultural program, it acts as an initiator in the transformation of the urban perception. Moreover, its institutional status activates the public space with functionalities other than commercial and grants the new neighborhood the urban intensity it required.
In order to create a new identity for the site, the building needed to acquire a strong urban presence.
Thus, the Soumaya museum was conceived as a sculptural building that is both unique and contemporary. Its avant-garde morphology and typology define a new paradigm in the history of mexican and international architecture.
From the outside, the building is an organic and asymmetrical shape that is perceived differently by each visitor, while reflecting the diversity of the collection on the inside. Indeed, the work to be exposed contains amongst others the second biggest collection of Rodin sculptures in the world,
several authors of medieval and renaissance art, as well as impressionist painters.
The shell of the building is constructed with 28 steel curved columns of different diameters, each with its own geometry and shape, offering the visitor a soft non-linear circulation all through the building. Located at each floor level, seven ring beams provide a system that braces the structure and guarantees its stability.