171 BANCAM 布宜诺斯艾利斯新現代藝術館

2012 (competition) | Bueno Aires, Argentina 阿根廷布宜諾斯艾利斯
Team Lee Shu-fan, Ng Stanford, So Eric, Tse Rayson, Tang Sam Ching-ki

[BANCAM]

Contemporary art is an explicit expression of an idea externalized. Be it installation, sculpture, media art, or some inconceivable forms, contemporary art seeks for an versatile piece of architecture that not only stimulates passion but also at the same time functionally flexible enough for the wildest dreams. This bipolar requirement underpins the concept of this proposal: an Icon intersecting with a functional Art Depository.

The Bueno Aires New Contemporary Art Museum (BANCAM) will be an interplay between two important elements. The 67.5m high tower, same height and counterpart of the Obelisco de Buenos Aires, asserts itself as an iconic presence on the Puerto Madero Waterfront with an observation deck on the top that lights up at night to address the canal as a symbolic lighthouse. The verticality of this tower stratifies the best elevations for the functions it contains: the observation deck, office, artist studios, lobbies, library, and multipurpose exhibition space. The internal spaces are deliberately made to be amorphous to stimulate the expression of site specific arts. At the bottom of this tower contains the entry and the form spills out to a public plaza for large sculptures and performances. The tower leans slightly to address the Calatrava bridge and provides a better presence for people coming along the street from the city.

The second important element is the horizontal 'white box' Art Depository hanging in mid air, creating the plaza and a 2-level sculpture garden. This depository is unapologetically pure and functional, infinitely versatile for the display of art. Accessibility is simplified with all the galleries being on the same level while at the same time all of them gets skylights. The vertical 'Icon' and the horizontal 'depository' intersects at different plan locations and in sections, creating a dialogue of spaces which could be exploited by the exhibiting artists.

This architecture of BANCAM is a statement of conflicts, harmony, interplay, and dialogues between ideas. This contradiction is externalized as a piece of architecture waiting to receive the similarly exciting ideas that is contemporary art.