Ryerson students win ArchTriumph competition for a design museum in Mexico City

A student team consisting of Kate Gonashvili, Ki Woon Oh and Lydon Whittle from Ryerson University’s Department of Architectural Science recently won first prize in the ArchTriumph Competition for their proposed design of the Mexico City Design Museum.

Entitled “Void,” the project for the 10,608-square-metre site at Avenida Paseo de la Reforma 423 in Mexico City responds to the competition requirements as described: “Void takes a large urban site in the heart of Mexico City and returns it back to the public, transformed into social gathering space, untouched by a built form on grade. However, what is at first visible to the eye is only a shell of a greater social function hidden deep underneath the ground surface. The museum is sunken four levels underground, eliminating any protrusion on the ground. The visitor starts their journey from grade, moving slowly down into the underground courtyard; void space which acts both as a formal entrance to the museum, and a space of reflection. A linear vertical path of circulation elevates visitors through the gallery spaces, bringing them closer to the grade, only to lead them back down into the great gallery space. While the journey onto the levels is outlined with predefined start and finish points, the ultimate experience of the visitor is defined by the path that each person takes within any given level. At the end of the journey the visitor is released back into the void where they can take time to absorb the material and reflect on their experience. The void acts as a portal which the public looks into for a micro reflection of the macro setting. The space reveals and reflects the cultural, social, political, temperature of the greater fabric and furthermore demonstrates to the public how the internal assets of the museum influences this sample of the city. The public realm has a front row seat to witnessing the beginning and end and this state of reflection which occurs after emerging.

The jury commented: “An Interesting visual offering of a topographic proposal with a distinct approach. It presents the concept as an urban gesture, a touch of subterranean scheme that shows restraint and maintaining a contemporary approach. This project resolved the brief elegantly with simplicity as the basis for forming spatial accents where required. There are subtle references to Mexican architecture with the long stairway leading into the void. It was considered the best museum-themed proposal with the building underground, allowing for more possibilities above. However, it would have been great to see more detail about the landscaping at street level. A very bold, neat and clear proposal indeed.”

Complete results and additional information can be viewed by visiting www.archtriumph.com/viewResultsProject.asp?sid=1000003283.