Creating a museum for the environment in the heart of Rio’s Botanical Gardens is no easy task. In a national competition to elect the best proposal for a 1500 sqm built area addendum, the Belo Horizonte-based architecture firm Arquitetos Associados (http://www.arquitetosassociados.arq.br) took the gold followed by MAAM + StudioParalelo (http://www.maam.com.uy and http://www.studioparalelo.com).
Responsible for Arquitetos Associados’ proposal, the young architects André Luiz Prado and Bruno Santa Cecília solved the equation in two steel structure buildings surrounded by precast cladding elements in different shades of orange, in order to highlight the volumes through the dense adjacent vegetation. The first building (1200 sqm) hosts 4 levels of permanent exhibits; the second (300 sqm) is home to the administration, an auditorium and a terrace for events.
In Santa Cecília’s words: ”We tried to subvert the limit imposed by the competition by redefining the floor design, creating a lowered plaza and adding another level to annex #1. By that, we’ve generated extra space. The other building follows the same logic: to create a lowered plaza and an area surplus.” (translated from portuguese) – Arch Editor André Pinto