Neolith Sintered Stone provides the perfect medium for art appreciation at MALBA - the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires
An architectural milestone when it was built 17 years ago, MALBA (the Latin American Art Museum of Buenos Aires) has become one of Buenos Aires’ most recognisable landmarks.
Its exhibition spaces have hosted the very best in modern art from across South America, Central America, the Caribbean and Mexico and now houses a permanent collection of internationally important works by some of the continent’s most prolific artists.
Building on its reputation as one of the world’s most forward-thinking cultural institutions, MALBA is undergoing extensive renovations to improve the visitor experience and become a ‘next generation’ museum.
An all-encompassing refurbishment programme was undertaken on the ground floor of the building to improve access, communication and the services offered to visitors. A major aspect of this was the redevelopment of the entrance and reception area to create an expansive central hall. This operation involved the levelling out and retro-fitting of over 1,000m2 of flooring to deliver a perfectly flat surface.
Madrid-based architectural practice Estudio Herreros was commissioned to take on the design of the project. With a proven track record of working with galleries such as the Munch Museum in Oslo and on the remodelling of the exhibit areas at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the practice was a natural choice.
Explaining the creative vision underlying MALBA’s brief, Juan Herreros, the firm’s founder, says: 'The main objective was to transform the museum hall into an area that meets the contemporary needs of visitors to the attraction, offering a friendly and inclusive space with the potential to become part of a visitor’s daily life.'
A fresh approach
For MALBA, Herreros used a wide range of texturally interesting and visually stimulating materials to produce a highly individual, multipurpose area. Neolith Phedra was specified for the floors. Its fresh, balanced tones with greyish shadows fitted with the architects’ vision.
The finished floor resembles a concrete street, a continuous surface that playfully represents a halfway point between the city (outside) and the exhibition rooms (inside). So versatile is the material that it was also used for the museum’s bathroom worktops.
'Neolith Sintered Stone was the perfect material to help unify each one of the museum areas,' says Martin Torrado of Torrado Arquitectos, a Buenos Aires-based architectural practice also involved in the project. 'It met each of our requirements: being suitable for high traffic areas and for panelling horizontal surfaces, worktops, walls and floors.'
An attraction for all
The MALBA renovation has established an all-new space designed to be completely inclusive and universally enjoyed. The materials used for the project, including Neolith Sintered Stone, have enhanced the original vision of the design to offer the public a museum of the future.
To find out more about Neolith Sintered Stone at MALBA, visit: neolith.com/en/projects
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