Museu de Arte de São Paulo Announces Major Expansion
August 24th, 2021
Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP), the top modern and contemporary art museum in Brazil, on August 20 announced the construction of a new fourteen-story building that will provide the institution with roughly 75,000 additional square feet of space. As first revealed in Artnews, the project, a freestanding structure that will occupy a lot next to MASP’s iconic 1968 Lina Bo Bardi–designed building on Paulista Avenue, will cost $33.3 million and is expected to be completed by January 2024.
Renderings show the new building—to be built by São Paulo–based firm Metro Arquitetos Associados based on a plan conceived by Júlio Neves, who led MASP from the mid-1990s to 2009—as sleekly dark and narrow, in stark contrast with Bo Bardi’s airy, glass-fronted structure, which stands just two stories high framed by cherry-red “legs.” The edifice is to be named after the pathbreaking Brazilian architect’s husband, Pietro Bo Bardi, who with Brazilian journalist and arts patron Assis Chateaubriand cofounded the museum in 1947.
The forthcoming expansion will feature 28,000 square feet of exhibition space, an increase of nearly two-thirds, allowing the museum to show more of its expansive collection, of which only one percent is able to currently be displayed at any given time. The building will also host a restaurant and a shop in addition to classrooms and a restoration lab, and will be connected to MASP’s present home via an underground tunnel. Perhaps most importantly, the building will be “green,” as the museum seeks to reduce its carbon footprint. Among the features contributing to the lessening of its thermal load is a double exterior, which will conserve energy and result in a reduction of costs associated with ventilation and air conditioning.
Completion of the project, which MASP board chair Alfredo Setubal characterized as the “greatest process of physical expansion in [the museum’s] history,” will elevate MASP to the status of one of the premier arts institutions in Latin America.