S M A Stephen Moser Architects

MALI Contemporary Art Museum —

MALI (The Lima Art Museum)
New Contemporary Art Wing Competition
Lima, Peru

SMA’s competition entry for a new contemporary art wing for the Lima Art Museum features a simple pavilion structure, below-ground art galleries, and two sunken courtyards, one of which is open to the public from the street level and improves the museum’s connection to Exposition Park. The above-ground pavilion is essentially a simple box inflected on the north and east sides, and wrapped with a ribbon of metal screening that re-interprets pre-Columbian interlocking forms. Constructed of concrete, glass, and wood, it houses a café on the mezzanine level and a library on the “floating” upper level. Its strong but serene shape adds to the assemblage of pavilions and small structures already in the park, including the Byzantine and Moorish pavilions and the Chinese Fountain. The new galleries are located on two below-ground levels. Large windows onto the sunken courtyards provide natural light for viewing the art. The interior courtyard is planted with bamboo trees, creating an atmosphere of quiet contemplation. A second courtyard, to the north, is open to the public, and is reached from the street by descending a series of stepped-back, landscaped terraces. Two small towers, wrapped in the same “pre-Columbian” screening used for the pavilion, contain elevators: one for moving art works, the other for carrying subway riders.

The museum’s relationship to the park and city is enhanced by two pedestrian bridges over the Via Expresa, new pedestrian passageways, and a bike lane along Avenue Arequipa. New fencing includes interactive LED lighting that can be used to promote MALI art exhibitions and upcoming park events, as well as to showcase contemporary design.

The 2016 international competition was sponsored by the Lima Art Museum (MALI).

Project Size

6,000 sqm (museum)
11 hectares (park)

SMA Team

Stephen Moser, principal
Helene Lee, project designer
Juan David Grisales & Giles Holt, project team
Guido Garfunkel, 3d visualization

Consulting Engineer

Arup: Raymond Quinn, Brian Markham, Jaume Soler