The striking design of the Museo Soumaya in Mexico City is the centrepiece of the display at Big 5 from Geometrica – the firm responsible for its façade.
The museum has been described as “dazzling,” “a trapezoid in motion,” “a shiny silver cloud-like structure reminiscent of a Rodin sculpture,” and “the world’s flashiest museum.”
Designed by maverick young architect Fernando Romero, it also was called “impossible to build.” The façade, in particular, presented huge challenges.
Geometrica CEO Francisco Castano said: “When people walk by our stand their eyes are really drawn to the picture. It is one of the best examples of our work.”
The company is using the Dubai event to broaden its customer base across the Middle East.
“We have been involved in some industrial projects in the region, include a waste to energy storage facility in Qatar and cement works in Ras al Kaimah. But we want to showcase our free form design techniques. The Mexico project is a great example of these.”
The museum is owned by Carlos Slim Helú, the world’s wealthiest man. Slim constructed the museum in 2008-2011 as part of the Plaza Carso, his multi-use development in Mexico City’s Polanco district.
Slim said since many Mexicans cannot afford to travel overseas to view art collections, he believed it was important to house a prestigious collection of international art in Mexico.
Free to the public, the Soumaya houses more than 60,000 pieces of art on six floors that offer 6,000m2 of exhibition space. The top-floor sculpture garden, dominated by a spectacular skylight, displays numerous Rodins.
Museo Soumaya, named for Slim’s late wife, also contains a 350-seat auditorium, a public library, a gift shop and a café.