Extension project by Christ & Gantenbein + H Arquitectes
Plaza dels Angels is one of the most vibrant public spaces of the Raval and indeed Barcelona, it is also the site of the extension to the Museo de Arte Contemporánea de Barcelona. The winners of a two stage architectural competition have just recently been announced, Swiss practice Christ & Gantenbein together with locally based H Arquitectes. The main building designed by Richard Meier & Partners dating from the early 90s is associated with the improvements the Raval experienced during the Olympic era. The extension will provide additional gallery space, shops and other facilities.
The proposal is designed as a completely separate building that faces the existing MACBA providing a new formal façade to the southern edge of the Plaza. With 3,000 sq.m. of extra space will be connected underground with the original building. A roof terrace will exhibit contemporary sculpture. Conceived as a colonnade this strategy brings together the 15th Century Capella and the Convent dels Àngels into a single volume expressed in the same yellow colour brick. Most of new spaces facing the plaza are public and commercial.
In the words of Christ & Gantenstein:"Establishing a dialogue between new and old, the use of brick fuses the museum‘s various elements together. Inheriting constructive, compositional, and volumetric cues from a heterogeneous context, the new MACBA will become a union of several parts from different periods with a continuous architectural logic that sensitively expands the existing. With its human scale, the extension and transformation will redefine the institution‘s image, making it more accessible and bringing it closer to the public. In becoming an urban campus and a transformable cultural infrastructure for the city, the leading contemporary art institution aims to be a participative and interactive museum for the 21st century and beyond."
The extension project was approved in 2008 the extension is forecast to be completed by 2023.