Museum Carlos Machado - Azores, Portugal
Museum of territory
CLIENT: Governo dos Açores
VALUE: € 1,400,000.00
The design for the reorganization and the extension of the Museum Carlos Machado, located in the seventeenth century convent of Santo Andrè in Ponta Delgada, São Miguel island (Azores), has three main objectives: the conservation of the original collection, the realization of a new exhibition path and the organization of the building for new exhibition spaces. The new museum tries to study and set off collections related to the genesis and the evolution of the Azores archipelago, in particular of the island, its population, its way of life, its religion.
The permanent exhibition, organized in topic areas, is located in the old building and tries the double goal to realize a contemporary museum system and define a dialogue with the existent, maintaining a right perception of the original spaces.
The extension of the museum is designed starting from a study of the territory and its geological history. Azore islands have a volcanic origin, created with the collision of three tectonic plates. In this way, considering the centre as a ‘museum of territory’, the extension is design with the movement of the ground that generates ‘craters’, creating with them a strong connection with the external areas of the museum and the city. Inside the new building, spaces like ‘caves’, with a surface of about 700 m2, organize the circulation, the info and ticket office, the cafeteria and the bookshop, a multifunctional hall, the educational space and the temporary exhibition hall. All these spaces are connected with external patios. The particular shape of the new building will change the topography of the garden, that become the museum’s green roof. It is designed to show a part of the rich botanical biodiversity of the island: nature that dialogs with architecture. The extension, with its new facilities, become a filter space between the museum and the city and at the same time an autonomous part, a public space open to the community.