With the passing of time, all around the corners of the earth, structures have been conceived with the idea of safeguarding and storing diverse collections of our cultural customs and beliefs. These structures have impressive facades and spacious interiors filled with complexity that marvel the human eye. Museums have the mission of preserving and displaying our history so it can be passed down to future generations, a task that is so important and necessary that it has justified their existence and further glorified the way they are built.
Museums are more than places where our cultural patrimony is kept; they are also attractions to tourists that visit them to appreciate the piece of art they are themselves. The building becomes one more piece of evidence of our achievements as a species and a testimony of that passing of time from which we shield our cultural heritage. Museums are more innovative and complex nowadays, and they all have a way to show visitors the historical context as well as the cultural environment in which they reside today.
In this article, we want to take a look at four amazing museums that do a great job of amazing us today, like many of the structures that we choose to focus on, here at Kenny Slaught’s Blog.
The Museum of Biodiversity or BioMuseo – Causeway Islands, Panama City, Panama.
Located on the Amador Causeway, right at the entrance of the Panama Canal on the Pacific Ocean. It was designed by Canadian architect Frank Gehry and this is his first building created in Latin America. The project used the same technology used for the Bird’s Nest in the Beijing National Stadium for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games. The architecture can be described as abstract on its representation, since it measures four thousand square meters divided among 8 exhibition halls, each built in a way that the ceiling is higher at some places and lower at others thus giving a feeling of disarray and unbalance. The central axis is directed towards the canal and a group of pavilions gather around the atrium connected with metal roofs painted in different colors. The galleries were created by Mau Design. The building also has an atrium available to the public, an area for exhibits, a shop, a cafeteria and a botanical park where exhibits are available all year round. The entire state has a surface of around 35,000 square meters, 4,100 of them are dedicated to the administrative offices while the rest belongs to a public park known for showing local fauna and flora.
Sifang Art Museum – Nanjing, China
The creator of this project was the architect Steven Holl and in its design we can appreciate two fundamental ideas that gave birth to its conception: first we have the fact that he wanted to advance the work done in the Nelson Atkins museum in Kansas and second, he wanted to create something that resembled the parallel perspective often found in Chinese painting. The architect’s own definition of the creation of the museum is that of having a mysterious sensation in the environment, something that at first sight may seem confusing and that is why based on this concept he created the base of the structure made of black-painted concrete and wrapped in bamboo to give the feeling of texture and ruggedness.
The museum is suspended on two pillars and offers a beautiful view of the city and the entire night sky.
Aga Khan Museum – Toronto, Canada
The museum was a collaboration between many talented architects and designers under the direction of Fumihiko Maki, winner of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. He was inspired by light and the way it behaves a it reflects on surfaces depending on the season, location and time of the day. The building loosely resembles a half-open cardboard box on one side, while opposite to this we can see the idea of modernist architect Charles Correa come to life with an ample patio decorated with reflective ponds called the Ismaili Centre and park. The museum has an area of 10,000 square meters and is surrounded by gardens that make up the Aga Khan Park, designed by landscape architect, Vladimir Djurovic.
The MuCEM or Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée – Marseille, France
Located in France, this is the first museum dedicated to Mediterranean cultures. Its doors were opened in 2013 as a way for to celebrate Marseille becoming the European Capital of Culture. It was designed by French architect Rudy Ricciotti. The building is a one-piece structure covered with filigree and joined to the Fort Saint-Jean through a 130-meter corridor. As the creator himself said it, this is a “building made of stone, water and wind” due to its location and the structures erected for its creation. It has an auditorium with a capacity to sit 400 plus a library and a restaurant displaying some of the most beautiful views the city has to offer.