MUMA Museum
The concept for the ‘Expansão do Museu do Meio Ambiente’ project stems from a visit to the Rio de JaneiroBotanical Garden. During our visit we were impressed by the local vegetation, but especially by the ‘walking tree,’ a species that has roots that extend above the level of the ground. These roots hold the tree perimetrally, forming a structural ‘cage’. We thought that this system could be very literally translated into a building.  Click above image to view slideshow Rendering Closeup The project site Because of the program requirements and the requirement to preserve & maintain part of the garden and most existing trees, the site was divided into three main areas:

1. ‘Nova área de Estacionamento’: The new parking area has 31 parking spaces. The area to the south of the historical building that was used for parking will be landscaped.
2. ‘Jardim Histórico’: The historical garden in front of the ‘Residencia Pacheco Leão’ will be restored to its original design.
3. ‘Novo paisagismo’: This area will be reconfigured with an undulating topography. The existing trees will remain and become nodes for a new circulation system that emulates the circulation within the ‘Arboreto’. This area will be the main exterior area for visitor activities.

The access to the new museum will happen through the Northwest corner, emphasized by a cut pipe that holds one of the existing trees in a semi-enclosed garden. The museum uses a perimetral structural system creating a flexible exhibition space that allows for a variety of exhibitions. The long term exhibition will occupy 950m2 in 3 levels of the new museum: The ground level and the second level with a 6m floor to floor height, and the basement with a 4m floor to floor height. The inside of the structural pipes will be for uses that require enclosed space like media rooms which work better with controlled lighting conditions and for other services like restrooms. Between levels the pipes will be used as part of the passive and mechanical cooling system. The third level will house the museum cafeteria. This level has a small outdoor terrace. The roof has an outdoor terrace with kitchen and restroom services, and on the roof there is a sitting area that allows vistas to the ‘Arboreto’ and ‘Corcovado’. The new museum and the historical building are connected at the basement, the ground and second level. The Historical building will be used as temporary exhibition space on the ground and second levels and as service and storage space for both buildings on the basement level. The new museum’s structural pipes are made of white concrete with exposed aggregate on the exterior flat vertical surfaces and smooth finish on the curved surfaces. The skin between the pipes is covered with glass. The height of the roof is 12m and the highest point of the building is 15m high.  Click above image to view slideshow Section The Auditorium/Museum Administration building This building uses the same structural pipe system, reconfigured so that the pipes are laid out horizontally. The entrance to the public side of the building is on the north through the auditorium plaza. The auditorium occupies the 2 pipes on the east side of the building with a capacity for 80 patrons. The auditorium can function as an intimate interior space or it can be opened to the exterior to engage the public in the plaza. From the public entrance one can ramp up to the 2 nd level cafe and public restrooms and go up the stairs to the roof terrace. The Museum Administration entrance is located on the south side of the building. The administration occupies the pipe on the west side. The pipes are made of white concrete with exposed aggregate on the curved surfaces and flat finish on the straight walls of the pipe. The height of the building is 7.5m Sustainability The ‘Expansão do Museu do Meio Ambiente’ project represents the future for innovative sustainable design in Brazil and it was of the outmost importance for us to integrate as many sustainable design strategies as possible to our proposal. Some of the strategies we applied are: Environmentally friendly materials, green roofs, storage and re-use of storm water, day lighting, shading devices, a “green” electrical lighting system, and hybrid passive and mechanical cooling systems.

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