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Mon 3.8.

Archaeology Museum of Alava by Francisco Mangado

Posted by NoéMie Schwaller on 03.08.2009 - Tagged as: , , ,

Francisco Mangado’s competition-winning archaeology museum in Spanish Vitoria provides a modern setting for the exhibits of a historically rich region.

Francisco Mangado’s competition-winning archaeology museum in Spanish Vitoria provides a modern setting for the exhibits of a historically rich region.

The basic form of the building is determined by its context and the continuity, both in terms of concept and program, which it establishes with the adjoining Palace of Bendaña, currently the Naipes Fournier Museum. In the permanent exhibition halls, all horizontal surfaces, floors and ceilings, are very dark. The wood floor (almost black) and the continuous ceiling (also black) form a closed and dark ‘box’ or chest delimited by the facade walls clad externally in a folded skin of bronze sheet, with pieces that are superposed or stepped depending on the lighting needs.

The display spaces are dark, lined with wenge, a near-black tropical timber. This forces the illuminated displays to become the focus of viewers’ attention.

The display spaces are dark, lined with wenge, a near-black tropical timber. This forces the illuminated displays to become the focus of viewers’ attention.

But these dark spaces are traversed by white glazed prisms – round which the exhibition of pieces is organized – that shall draw light in from the roof at daytime, coming from an internal illumination in the darkness. These prisms shall be inlaid with graphics and information to describe the items, but beyond this pedagogical task, their light will speak of the adventure of interpretation, the metaphor that makes reference to light in a dark space, to the hope of being able to interpret aspects from our past.

The glass-sided stairs inside the museum.

The glass-sided stairs inside the museum.

The glass-sided stairs are one element of the architecture that guides visitors as they travel through the significant historic periods of the region. Towards the interior of the plot, the access courtyard is configured by more transparent boundaries: it is the bronzed skin that opens up with constant rhythm allowing space to signal visitors into the exhibition areas.

 

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