Commissioned by fine art collector Carlos Slim and named after his late wife, the Museo Soumaya was designed by FR-EE (architect Fernando Romero) and built in the Nuevo Polanco district of Mexico City in 2010. The 180,000 sq. ft. museum houses nearly 70,000 art objects ranging from the 15th to the 20th century, including the largest private collection in the world of sculptures by Auguste Rodin. The distinct shape and strong presence of the structure creates an identity for the formerly industrial area, and serves as a catalyst for cultural development .
Sheethed with over 16,000 hexagonal steel mirror tiles that refer to traditional colonial ceramic facades, the museum’s appearance changes according to the weather and point of view of the spectator. The tiles also maximize the conservation and sustainability of the design.
The complex geometry and sculptural shape of the Museo Soumaya results from the integration of 28 individually curved steel cantilever columns into the envelope. The structure is stabilized by a system of seven rings located on each floor. The museum includes a 350-seat auditorium, library, restaurant, gift shop and administrative offices, and is situated within Carlos Slim’s Plaza Carso, an 800 million dollar mixed use development project which has revitalized Nuevo Polanco.
images courtesy of fernando romero architects