Museum Shop MAO
Museum of Architecture and Design, Fužine Castle, Invited design competition
Ljubljana, Slovenia, 2021
A single piece of architecture organizes the entire sales and exhibition space in the museum entry hall.
The existing museum shop MAO is located at the ground floor of the western part of Fužine Castle, where the entrance to the museum's exhibition spaces is enabled via the external atrium. The old shop with its ticket office took up most of the entrance hall which became problematic during the exhibition openings and large gatherings. At those times, people preferred to stay in the outer atrium in order to avoid standing among the display products.
The new program brief asked for the new shop to enable the lease of space to larger closed groups, the organization of round tables, smaller exhibitions and other events. At those times, most of the design products should remain on display whilst not taking up too much space. The challenge for us was to fulfill these requirements with a single, clearly expressed design gesture.
We took inspiration from Superstudio's "Il Monumento Continuo" - The Continuous Monument drawing, illustrating their belief that “by extending a single piece of architecture over the entire world, they could ‘put cosmic order on earth’”. Superstudio understood this particular act, in contrast to many Utopian schemes of the time, “as nurturing rather than an obliterating the natural world” (MoMA, 2021) (Cline & di Carlo in Riley, 2002, p.72).
We understand furniture design as design of small architecture. Hence the new cabinet of curiosities becomes our "single piece of architecture" that clearly separates all the exhibition paths, visually indicates the service and sales backspace together with the central part of the shop, where there is enough free space for small exhibition, furniture testing and social interaction, oriented towards the external atrium.
Valuable design products and publications deserve to be sensibly placed and exposed. Now, there is no need for them to be moved and stored away when the space is rented out for private events.
The entrance hall with its "single piece of architecture" thus becomes just one of the museum's exhibition fields.
(MoMA, 2021): Retrieved from: https://www.moma.org/collection/works/934, Accessed: July, 2021)
(Cline, B. & di Carlo, T. in Riley, T. (ed.), 2002): The Changing of the Avant-Garde: Visionary Architectural Drawings from the Howard Gilman Collection, p. 72, New York: The Museum of Modern Art
Location: Ljubljana, Slovenia
Project date: 2020
Completion date: 2021
Area: 83 m2
Client: MAO, Muzej za arhitekturo in oblikovanje / Museum of Architecture and Design
Project team: SVET VMES, Ltd.: Jure Hrovat, Ana Kreč
Award: 1st prize, invited competition