Mali Lima Art Museum 2016

Mali Lima New Contemporary Art Wing 2016 [Lima - Peru]

The location and brief rightfully encourages the program of the New Lima Art Museum to be buried underground to protect views of the historic Exposition Palace. The design in response nestles adjacent to the historic building, at once burying the programme yet also revealing a façade at a lower level facing the park allowing both buildings’ a strong presence and sense of place in the landscape. The new outdoor plaza is at once an entry zone, a terraced performance space and a sculpture garden and creates new adjacencies to the existing  Palace’s own plaza.

The result is a display of contemporary and historic operating in unison, the new Art Museum seeks to acknowledge the existing Palace and pay tribute to its grandeur. The contemporary neighbour is a manifesto that evolution should take the most important advantages from the past.  Designed sensitively in a way that responds to the neo-renaissance arches of the existing museum the new imitates the old but in a more volumetric way: the arch becomes a vault. The contemporary vault is repeated creating a field of wave-like domes that articulate the interior exhibition spaces and create an intriguing sculpture at the ground level.  From within the contemporary galleries the vaults strategically frame views to the existing Mali Art Museum, integrating and connecting historic and contemporary art and architecture.

Warm natural light streams through the expansive vaulted roof of the New Lima Art Museum, the visitor consistently feels part of the larger space. Glimpses of the external walls crawling with luscious vines allude to a space that is connected to the outside forces of nature, and most importantly the visitor never has a sense of being underground. The exhibition spaces are strategically arranged around the circulation which is organised on each level around the central unifying atrium. Intimate enclosed spaces form as a balustrade sinuously curves to become an exhibition wall to the floor below. In each instance the measure of openness and transparency of a large space is somehow achieved through the play of voids and gaps.



AJ+C Architects [Sydney - Australia]

Structural Engineers  : Thornton Tomasetti [London - UK]

MEP Engineer            : Mott MacDonald [London - UK]

Museum Consultant   : Philippa Adams [Saatchi Gallery Director, London - UK]

Landscape Architect  : Andrew Prowse Landscape Architect [Cairns - Australia]