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2018 MCHAP

Claudia Andujar Gallery

Arquitetos Associados

Brumadinho, Brazil

January 2016


Alexandre Brasil/Arquitetos Associados André Luiz Prado/Arquitetos Associados Bruno Santa Cecília/Arquitetos Associados Carlos Alberto Maciel/Arquitetos Associados Paula Zasnicoff Cardoso/Arquitetos Associados


Ana Carolina Vaz/Arquitetos Associados (Architect) Rafael Gil Santos/ Arquitetos Associados (Architect) Paula Bruzzi Berquó/Arquitetos Associados (Intern) Nathalia Gama/Arquitetos Associados (Intern) Thaisa Nogueira/Arquitetos Associados (Intern)


Instituto Inhotim


Leonardo Finotti


Five years of work in close collaboration with curator Rodrigo Moura allowed the most profound investigation that we had the opportunity to develop about the possibilities of integration between art, architecture and landscape at Inhotim. A permanent exhibition on four main themes on the work of the artist along with a space for custody of the collection was the brief. From previous discussions conducted with the curatorial team came the concept of integrating interior and exterior, landscape and exhibition space, introducing gradations of light and views controlled by cracks and windows that recover the presence of nature in the space of the work of art. The gallery spaces are organized in a single level of exhibition rooms, arranged on a sequence defined by strict collaboration with the curatorial research. The exhibition area is divided in four main groups by transitional spaces that mediate nature and artwork using shifts in scale and large openings to invite the visitors to experience the exterior spaces and the natural landscape as intervals to the experience of art. The diversity of the exhibition areas is guaranteed by interchanging introspection and openness to the site, in such way that sights to the woods and the internal patio; by the difference in scale, from vast to intimate rooms; by the material variation, from concrete to wooden floors; and by an interplay between natural and artificial lighting. All these variations create a narrative that is informed by the artwork and is potentialized by the natural surroundings.


Claudia Andujar Gallery, part of Inhotim Contemporary Art Museum, was designed to shelter the works of the swiss-born Brazilian photographer Claudia Andujar. The building is located on a densely wooded slope, accessed by trails amongst the vegetation. The topography defines a small promontory that reveals the surrounding landscape. This location informed the design strategy concerning its placement: the higher portion of the site was redesigned to receive the embedded volume, granting it an unobtrusive aspect. Contrarily, the rest of the building was divided in three blocks projecting over the slope, each one oriented toward different sight of the woods. The distinction between an embedded portion and the overhanging volumes pursues a subtle balance between the necessary discretion of the built volume and the presence of remarkable features that pinpoint the gallery on the site. We were particularly interested in the recognition of nature as a phenomenon and its varied exploitation in the experience of the work: gravity, rain, light, time. The investigation of textures is reflected on the narrow material palette and the masses of carefully arranged handmade bricks with reliefs on the external surfaces, resounding the shades of density and different qualities of the sunlight filtered through the foliage. The roof drainage gargoyles reveal themselves subtly at the base of the walls, deliberately making visible the effects of water, which alter the moisture of the brick and the forest and whose evidence allows the recognition of the character of a modified nature that architecture ultimately is.


‘Maxita Yano’ or Mud House is how Yanomami Shaman Davi Kopenawa called it on the day of its inauguration. Its design is a statement, through its materiality, on the nature of such specific exhibition spaces built in a natural realm, searching for a widened perception of potential relationships among art, architecture, nature and landscape, an specific feature of the Institute that commissioned both the building and the artwork. Its architecture is a responsive approach to both the site and the artwork that it is dedicated to: the delicate and potent photographic work by Andujar on the world and life of the Yanomami people. It is, above all, a research on more subtle and different relations between human artefacts and nature, both in a more immediate comprehension of nature - the site, the woods, the climate - and in an in-depth search that relates to its materiality and time, in a phenomenological approach. The experience accumulated over years in architectural design for other exhibition venues at the same institute allowed a deeper understanding and a full optimization of the potency of craftsmen and craft masters of the place, applying it to the construction materials widely available: wood, concrete, brick, stone. These, which are not the materials of the Yanomami communal house, made of straw and tree branches, redraw in their gross materiality a communal place that belongs to white man but is dedicated to indigenous memory. This is perhaps the larger sense of the "mud house" that Kopenawa was referring to.

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