The Lima Art Museum (MALI) New Contemporary Art Wing

Lima, Peru

Year: 2016, Status: Proposal


exterior view at night
Exterior view – night
Exterior view – day
Exterior view – day

Towards A Contemporary Art Gallery of Everyday
The location of the site seemed ideal for the purpose of the New Contemporary Art Wing for The Lima Art Museum (MALI ). A contemporary art gallery would need to be visible and noticed by the public in the evermore hectic world today, if it aspires to enlighten through Art. The site is situated between MALI 's old Exposition Palace building and a planned metro station, which is expected to become one of the busiest in Lima. I t is also at the edge of the Exposition Park with the Dammert Park across the heavily-trafficked Paseo Colon.

We envisaged that contemporary art could become a part of everyday life for everybody, if the potential of the site could be envisioned through a design organisation of the New Art Wing.


Site plan
Site plan

A Metro Station - Art Gallery Complex
A cross programming of a metro station and a contemporary art gallery was planned. An underground passage from the station was extended within the site with a new metro exit near the main entrance of the Exposition Palace building. All facilities of the New Contemporary Art Wing will be accessed from the underground passage, the ’Art Mall’. I t is a double-height circulation space quite different from standard subways. There are a series of windows and entrance doors to the art complex and the passersby would glimpse various art activities happening along the Mall. Like a ‘Shopping Mall’, people could enjoy a ‘window shopping’ of Art through them.

interior view - South Gallery (The Hanger)
Interior view – South Gallery (The Hanger): The largest multi-purpose gallery with a courtyard

Size and Flexibility - Art Gallery
The sizes of the gallery spaces were carefully defined, with a mixture of wide, long and tall rooms, which can be divided flexibly. Combined with natural light from the top and the side, the galleries would allow for the maximum variety of configurations suitable for ever-varying contemporary artworks. These gallery spaces are connected by the ‘East Gallery’, a 5.2m wide circulation/exhibition space. It leads to the largest ‘South Gallery’ (W36.7m x D21m x H5.5m) at the end with an external courtyard, which is accessed through large vertically-operating hanger doors.

Circulation diagram
Circulation diagram
Size and natural light variation of the galleries
Size and natural light variation of the galleries

Service Access and Elevational Height at the Ground Level
Two freight elevators were required as a connection was requested from Door 3 of the Exposition Palace, however, there needs to be a larger freight elevator (car size: about 3m x 6m) for the main loading area to which a heavy goods vehicle would be accessible. The loading area had to be below ground level as the headroom of the large fright elevator will be 4.5m minimum above floor level. We aimed to keep the most of the structure to be below the plinth datum level of the Exposition Palace, so the Plaza level is sunken by 1 .1m from the surrounding ground level. A ‘scissor lift’ or ‘platform lift’ , which do not need any headroom, would not have either loading capacity or travel distance required for this project.

Long section
Long section
Programme Distribution
Programme Distribution
Exhibition configuration
Exhibition configuration

Plaza with Lantern Pavilions
Skylights, fire escape stairs and elevators appear above-ground as white glazed pavilions. They form a characteristic landscape of the Plaza. I t reminds us of the art facilities below-ground. I t becomes a backdrop of sculpture works and illuminates the Plaza at night.

Future Masterplan of the Exposition Park More permeability is required to address the issues the park currently faces. This can be achieved by adding 'shortcut' paths and gates, which should be open during opening hours. For raising activity level of the park, platform locations for art installation could be identified for art trails to be organised by MALI .

Ground floor plan
Ground floor plan