Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Museo Soumaya

World's richest man turns to art with Mexico museum

 So if some of you don't know, Carlos Slim officially opened a new museum in Mexico City about a month ago [Reuters article here]. It is towering, gleaming and expensive[ Dezeen has some amazing shots, here, reproduced below]. Some have called the design architecturally immature. Some have also pointed out that it fits awkwardly into its locale. This is exacerbated by the overall landscape of its environs, which for all its cultural diversity is largely block after block of fairly standard 1990's office buildings. It's really hard to judge the exterior design of this museum and I think its precisely because of how unique it is. You almost get a feel of looking at a hammerhead shark starting back at you when you see the pictures. The flat top and protruding roof curvature will, undoubtedly, turn some off but, the hexagon aluminum panels do creatively reflect sunlight and illuminate the night sky of the local neighborhood [which the enterprising Slim has bought up with plans to create an entertainment and cultural destination]. Plus the roof allows natural sunlight to pore into the top floor gallery and the overall size of the building does give it a certain magnanimity that is enviable, yet its unorthodox look overshadows what could be a first class museum. But if the exterior design is a bit hard to swallow, the pictures of the interior really are captivating. The slopes and curves of the main visitors gallery and exhibition halls, marked with an all white-minimalist design, really gives the place an incredible look and feel. The museum was designed by architect Fernando Romero, who is kin to Mr. Slim himself. Time will tell how the museum will be seen, but at the moment I think that its uniqueness and interior design should be lauded, even if some will find the exterior design a bit strange or uninspired.

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