Utilizing the column grid from the historic Exposition Palace as a generative ordering device, a rational ordered system is overlaid upon the adjacent plaza space. Manipulated onto the diagonal and edited to a minimal assembly of fundamental elements, this grid is dissipated, yet remains legible and utilitarian; it offers curatorial flexibility and spatial opportunity while providing a frame of structure for the new contemporary wing.
Masses emerge from the surface of the plaza, light monitors for spaces in the new wing below. These capture light for the galleries while simultaneously inscribing outdoor rooms. The boundaries noted by these raised forms are both explicit and implied; they create civic variety and rooms for rest, contemplation, demonstration and cultural consumption.
A solid, hovering structure at the south terminus of the site acts as a new signpost for MALI. This new pavilion carries on the tradition of the other structures within the park. Clad in a white tile pattern that has been abstracted from the Exposition Hall facade, this heavy volume hovers above the park and permits a north-south connection between landscape and city. The park fence is moved inward, sliding underneath the pavilion and releases the MALI plaza back to the city.
Exterior and interior motion is fluid, framed by an architecture that facilitates temporality and change in the environment. The architecture is an organizational frame in which movement through the new contemporary wing will constantly change. Explicit circulation patterns are therefore irrelevant and only important depending on the programming of any given curation of work.
Utilizing the bracing quality of the surrounding earth, internal structure has been reduced to essential pieces. Diaphragm action is created by the slabs spanning across the site, and columns are manifested as 5” diameter pieces of solid steel placed sporadically within the volume. The pavilion at the south end of the plaza is weighty yet hovering, pierced by these same columns. Acting as a Vierendeel truss, the slab at grade and first level of the pavilion support its upper floors.
As a mute, mostly solid object, the pavilion contains the education spaces of the new contemporary wing. This building is also internally carved along the north side, from roof down to plaza, bringing light into the classrooms through an external skylight. Clad in a mixture of matte and glossy white tiles of varying sizes, the exterior surface of the pavilion evokes the pattern language of the adjacent exposition hall.
Mitchell Bonus, Ann Le, Lauren Bordes, Leeland McPhail, Sam Weston
Exterior and interior motion is fluid, framed by an architecture that facilitates temporality and change in the environment.