Comprehensive Booklet

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This booklet was created to document the research, design work and final design outcome of a museum located in Merida, Spain. The project was comprehensive in scope including not only the design process but mechanical development, sustainable considerations and well as code analysis.

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Comprehensive Booklet

  1. 1. Museo de la Memoria Merida, Spain
  2. 2. Jennifer Turcotte Roger Williams UniversitySchool of Architecture, Art and Historic Preservation Fall Semester 2011 ARCH 513 Comprehensive Design Studio Roberto Viola Ochoa
  3. 3. Table of ContentsIntroductionUnderstanding of Place Context Merida’s History Archaeology Environmental AnalysisSite Analysis Approaching the Site Siting Site ConditionsSurrounding Architecture Approaching the Site Teatro Romano Romano Amphitheater Museo de Arte RomanoConceptual AnalysisTechnical Solutions Program Occupancy Circulation Sustainable Strategies Mechanical Solutions StructureAppendix
  4. 4. IntroductionThe Museo de la Memoria stands to honor the rich history of Merida,Spain. The building will connect the past with the present by showcasingthe memories of place by displaying artifacts and art work dating back tothe Roman era up to present day. Such pieces will include items and re-mains dating back to not only the Roman era but to the conquest of theVisigoths, Arabs and finally Christians. Within the building’s walls eachera will be given its own gallery space while in the same vein all will becohesively tied together. The Museo de la Memoria will expose the com-plex dialogue that has existed over the ages between the various culturesand explain how each culture made their mark and effected the overall spirit of Merida, Spain.
  5. 5. Understanding of Place
  6. 6. ContextLocation: Merida, SpainRegion: Extremadura, Badajoz RegionTotal Area: 865.6 square kilometer (334.2 square miles)Population: 56,395 (year 2009)Density: 65.2 per square kilometer (168.7 per square mile) Merida, Spain is located in the south south-western portion of Spain inwhat is referred to as the Extremadura region. Part of the Province of Badajoz,the city sits in relatively close proximity to the major cities of Spain in additionto the country of Portugal. Merida’s central location, in relation to numer-ous traffic routes, not only maximizes connectivity to the surrounding area inthe twenty-first century but has been vital in estabishing Merida’s importancethroughout its history. Major routes surrouding Merida include A-5 and A-66and farther east A-43. Route A-5 directly connects Merida to Portugal to thewest (three hours by car) and Madrid to the east (three and a half hours by car).Route A-66 directly connects Merida to Salamanca to the north (three hours)and Sevilla to the south (two hours). Though it does not run directly parallel toMerida, farther to the east Route A-43 extends from the Extremadura regionto Albacete (five hours) near the east coast of Spain. Within Merida there ex-ist roughly four major streets that act as connections between the heart of thecity to the surrounding roadways. These roadways tend to stay to the peripheryof the city. Centra del Extremadura directly connects to A-66 to the west andA-5 to the north-east. Though it seems that the exisitng infrasturcture makesMerida easily accessible, plans for the future intend to increase this. An AVEline is being developed to directly connect Merida to both Madrid and Lisbon. Though the area appears lively and highly populated, in respect to densityit is relatively low. The total area of Merida is roughly 865.6 square kilometers(334.2 square miles) with a population of only about 56,395. Density in Me-rida is roughly 65 people per square kilometer (168.7 people per square mile).
  7. 7. Figure 1 (left): Spain; Me-rida is located in the south-western portion of Spainclose to the border of Por-tugalFigure 2 (right): Provinceof BadajozFigure 3 (far right):Merida is separated intofive major districtsFigure 4: (bottom right):Major roadways are kept tothe periphery of the Centralhistoric districtFigure 5 (below): Ancientroadways have been main-tained and converted tomajor highways.
  8. 8. Merida’s History Merida can be divided into four major periods: Roman, Visigothic, Arabicand Christian. Prior to the Roman conquest of the area, Merida was part of theVia de la Plata (translater, “Silver Way”), an ancient route for both commercialtransportation (especially tin) and pilgrimages. Extending through the westernportion of Spain from north to south, the route connected Merida to Astorga.This road, later referred to as the “Tin Way”, would come to be used as an ac-cess road allowing the Romans to easily carry out their conquests in the area. In 200 B.C. Merida fell under the rule of Rome. The city became one ofthe Roman’s five major strongholds, the others being Cartagena, Cordoba, Ter-ragona, Zaragoza and Cadiz. During this period the “Tin Way” was used to Pre-Roman Romanconnect the gold mines of Las Madulas and the ore and copper mines of RioTinto to the surrounding maritime harbors. In 25 B.C. Merida , then calledEmerita Augusta, was founded by Octavio Augusta and became the capi- Figure 6: Between the Roman domination of Merida to present day the overall gridded layout of the city has made drastictal of Lusitania. The land was given to retired Roman soldiers to farm and changes. Intially the city conformed to a highly regular grid that followed the axis of the Puente Romano. This organization lead to the slight rotation of the Decumanus Maximus. The Merida of today has taken on a more organic approach to urbanwatch guard over. The major bridge, the Puente Romano, acted as the main planning and much of the original grid has been lost. Though the interior organization of the city has evolved the majorentry point into the then walled city. Still standing today, the bridge spans roadways that once served as major trade routes have continued to serve as the primary access points to surroudings cities.roughly 790 meters. Under the rule of the Romans the general region ofHispania experienced a great economic expansion and became the dominantproducer of grain as well as gold, wool, olive oil and wine. Due to the Ro-man’s sophisticated irrigation techniques, the local agriculture was also ableto flourish. Staple crops of the area at this time included grapes and olives. Merida’s location near major water sources made the town a perfect location forRoman aqueducts. Through the use of two reservoirs, Merida was able to get itswater supply by a hydraulic system. These aqueducts not only allowed agricultureto prosper but made Merida a favorable destination. Due to the cleanliness ofthe water and the implementation of a sanitary sewage system the economy wasable to thrive. Currently two aqueducts from the Roman period still stand. Theaqueduct of Los Milagros, which once brought water to Merida from the Proser-pina Dam, dates back to the early first century B.C. The second aqueduct, theaqueduct of Rabo de Buey-San Lazaro, only partially stands today. Though only Contemporary Merida Highwaysthree pillars reman, it once brought water from streams and springs in the area.
  9. 9. In 554 A.D. Emperor Justinian conquered the area between Merida and Se- villa marking the beginning of the Visigothic period. During this period, few purely Visigothic architecture can be identified since it was common for pre- existing building to be restored and renovated. During these restorations numer- ous Visigothic motifs, such as the horseshoe arch, floral designs, cable borders, and the “Maltese” cross, were added to the once Roman buildings. Such decora- tions were highly influenced by Persian, Syrian and Coptic architecture and art. After roughly two hundred years in control, the Visigothic rule came to an end. In 711 A.D. Arabic commander, Tariq Ibn Ziyad conquered the Iberian Peninsula and in 713 A.D. Merida was taken over by the Mus- lims. The Arabic Period is characterized by the dominance of relgion. Con- cerned more with the spread of Islam, the agricultural status remained rela- tively unchanged from the Roman period. The cultivation of agriculture was left in the hands of the individual land owners and continued to thrive.Figure 7 (above): During the Roman rule the major access route through Merida involved crossing the During the period of Arabic primacy Christian forces continued to rallybridge for dominance in the area, referred to as the Reconquista. In 1230 Christian forces under King Alfonso IX of Leon conquered Merida, making it the head-Figure 8 (below): Aerial view of Merida during the Roman rule; during this period Merida was a quarters of the Priory of San Marcos de Leon. During Christian rule a diversewalled city mix of cultures were able to co-exist within a relatively small region. Christian, Arabic and Roman influences enable trade to expand and commerce to flourish. The Merida of the twenty-first century is characterized by tourism and a re- newed interest in trade. Within Merida there are six tourist routes that high- light various cultural and natural sitings, ranging from archaeological findings to the natural vegetaion and wildlife. In the past decade Merida has experi- enced a 35% increase in retail as a result of its close proximity to major pop- ulation centers. Trade has become the avenue for Merida’s future commer- cial opportunities. Currently five industrial areas exist in Merida with plans for more being disucssed. A park in development, “Expaciomeria”, is planned to encourage new business to set roots in Merida. The development will ac- commodate two hundred and ten companies and provide at least 5,350 jobs.
  10. 10. Merida’s Today Merida, Spain of the twenty-first century is still greatly influenced by the histori-cal ruins and landmarks that are scattered around the city. Showcasing the historicquality of Merida has become a staple in maintaining the local economy. As a re-sult much of this local economy is dependent on tourism. Located around the city,new museums are constrantly being constructed to provide thorough displays andexhibitions regarding specific eras or subjects that have greatly influenced Merida. 1. Exposition Permanente del Campo en Extremadura 2. Museo del Ferrocarril 2. 3. Museo de Arte Romano 3. 5. - Designed by Spanish architect, Rafael Moneo 4. - Constructed in 1986 1. 4. Colleccion de Arte Visigodo - Dependent on the National Museum of Roman Art - Located near the offices of the Church of Santa Clara - Collection is to be moved to it own indepedent location 5. PREAMERITA - Located in the MAM (Tourist Reception Center) - Contains a collection of prehistoric artifacts from the Extremadura Region Tourist routes documenting the complex history of Merida work in tandemwith the various museums to educate visitors about the area. Various routes havebeen established around the city to highlight specific areas of interest. Routesinclude an archaeological tour, tours of the natural park, Guadiana River andProsperina Reservior and tour around the city with a focus on local gastronomy.
  11. 11. 1. Exposition Permanente del Campo en Extremadura 2. Museo del Ferrocarril3. Museo de Arte Romano 4. Colleccion de Arte Visigodo 5. PREAMERITA (Prehistoric Collection)
  12. 12. In addition to tourism, Merida has begun to expand its economic in- terests. Merida experienced a 35.43% increased in retail in the past decade as a result of its close proximity to major populated areas. Using the major roadways that easily connect the city to other major areas nearby, Merida is looking for ways to become a stronger economic powerhouse. Trade and the development of local industries have become the avenue for Merida’s fu- ture commercial opportunities. Government sectors, like the Department of Industrial Promotion and Trade of Merida was working on creating projects that will potentially boost socio-economic growth and employment. Cur- rently five industrial areas exist in Merida with plans for more industrial parks being discussed. A new industrial park in development, “Expaciomer- ida”, is planned to encourage new businesses to set roots in Merida. The de- velopment will accommodate 210 companies and provide at least 5,350 jobs.Plans for future industrial parks (below) would adopt an advantageous location next to the major roadways and make for easy access from surrounding areas. Such parkswould make possible large communities of local retail and commercial companies. Downtown areas in the historic portion of the city (above) are providing numerous retailopportunities as well as stand to support the local entrepreneurs and the local economy.
  13. 13. Environmental Analysis Merida’s location in the southern portion of Spain classifies the city’s asMediterranean. More specfically Merida’s climate falls under the sub-categoryof “hot-summer mediterranean”. The area never experiences freezing tempera-tures and summers are hot and dry. Merida’s climatic zone is associated withthe Azores High sub-tropical high pressure cells which pull dry air into the at-mosphere and cap the evaporation of water. Such a condition causes rainfall tobe irregular and fog is common. Total rainfall accummulation averages 475 mmannually with most of the precipitation happening in November and December.Temperature While Merida is considered a Mediterranean city, the change in tem-perature is relatively significant depending on the season. During the less ex-treme months temperatures are warm but comfortable but the extreme summertemperatures pose the most problems in establishing a suitable level of comfort.Temperatures in the summer commonly range between 64 degrees F and 72degrees F with occasional highs reaching over 100 degrees F. As can be seenin the adjacent chart, the summer months can even experience temperatures ashigh as 113 degrees F(dark blue tone). These summer months consistute the Autums months commonly experience temperatures between 45 and 60 degrees F with highs periodically reaching 70 degrees F.most uncomfortable climatic conditions within the city. Typical winter months in Merida reach between 40 and 60 degrees F and even on occassion extend as far as 70 degrees similar to the fall. Summer temperatures tend to reach between 72 and 85 degrees F with highs reaching beyond 100 degrees F. The less extreme months, autumn and winter, provide more comfortableclimatic conditions. Autumns months commonly experience temperatures be-tween 45 degrees F and 85 degrees F. Typical winter months in Merida reachbetween 40 degrees F and 60 degrees F. While autumn and winter conditionsdo not compare to the high temperatures that are common in the summer, tem-peratures such as 72 degrees F and 85 degrees F still pose problems of creatinguncomfortable interior conditions. Temperature changes between seasons as well as during individualmonths creates an relatively unpredictable environment. Drastic jumps in highsduring months such as March, July and December can be 50 degrees F. In ad-dition individual months can experience temperature ranges up to 40 degrees F. March July December
  14. 14. Relative Humidity & Solar Gain In addition to the extreme Mediterranean temperatures of Merida, hu- midity and direct solar gain aid in creating uncomfortable and extreme climatic conditions. Though temperatures reach their peak in the summer months, rela- tive humidity is actually at its lowest during this time. Humidity levels range between 20% to 70% during the summer but months such as March and De- cember experience humidity as much as 50% to 90% with the winter tending to be more extreme. The high level of humidity in the winter is most likely due to the fact that the most rainfall occurs during this season. Direct and diffuse solar gain is directly related to temperature highs and inversely related to the levels of humidity. Solar gain, both direct and diffuse, is highest is the summer. Direct solar gain can reach levels of 4.5 BTUs per square foot and diffuse can reach 2.5 BTUs per square foot. High summer tempera- tures, in tandem with 100 degrees temperatures, lead to increadibly uncomfort- able and oppressive conditions both outdoors and indoors. Autumn and winterHumidity levels range between 20%-70% in the summer while fall and winter experience humidity levels between 50%-90% with the winter being the most extreme. Di- months can experience direct solar gain levels of 4.5 BTUs per square and dif-rect solar gain can reach levels of 4.5 BTUS per square foot and diffuse 2.5 BTUS per square foot with the highest levels during the summer months. fuse solar gains of 1.5 BTUs per square foot. Though solar gain during these months is less of a concern in comparison with the summer, these months pose the challenge of mitigating the humidity to a comfortable level. Frequently fluctuating throughout the course of the typical summer day, humidity is highest during the early hours and solar gain highest in the later afternoon. Such a combination is detrimental to a building’s interior climate. Humidity in the early portion of the day followed by high levels of solar gains does not provide a period of time for the building to rid itself of the high levels of moisture in the air before being replaced by strong, direct sunlight. Either condition leads to an uncomfortable interior condition. Throughout the course of a typical autumn day relative humidity fluctu- ates more during the morning and afternoon than during a typical summer day. The solar gain, unlike the summer, is more sporadic and irregular throughout the day. Reminiscent of the summer months, solar gain in the winter is relatively consistent and parabolic with the highest levels during the afternoon hours.
  15. 15. Winds Merida’s climate is extreme in regards to temperature and humidity butwind speeds are relatively moderate. The highest wind speeds tend to occurduring the fall and winter months and the lowest in the spring and summermonths. Primarily winds enter from the west and to a lesser degree from theeast. Northern and southern winds are relatively non-existent. Rarely experi-encing speeds over 10 Knots the wind is more beneficial than detrimental inalliviating the extreme climate. Allowing a steady circulation of air helps tobreak down uncomfortable conditions caused by the high levels of humidity andsolar heat gain. During the fall and winter, when humidity is at its highest, thewinds counteract the high levels of moisture and establish a more suitable com-fort level. The movement of air minimizes the feeling of oppressive air moistureand make the environment seem cooler. This same effect occurs in the summerin regards to the high temperatures and high solar gain. Air movement givesthe sense of cool air temperatures. The facilitation of wind and air movement iscrucial in alleviating some of the extreme climatic conditions. Yearly
  16. 16. Spring SummerFall Winter
  17. 17. Overall Conditions Humidity, solar gain and temperature are major factors that need to becontrolled and diffused. The Meditterranean climate causes all factors to be apresence during each season with certain aspects being of more concern depend-ing on the month. Summer months demand a higher consideration of miti-gating extreme temperature and solar gain. Shielding the infiltration of directsunlight will prevent the collection of hot air in indoor environments. Naturallight will need to be diffused before entering interior spaces. Winter monthsrequire maximum air movement. Wind and air circulation, in contrast to hu- Marchmidity, solar gain and temperature, must be encouraged. Free movement of airwill naturally and passively diminish the feeling of oppressive humidity indoors. Each season and each month poses its own series of issues and climatic con-cerns. Autum months experience a high and varying level of humidity (greendotted line) with the highest levels in the morning and evening. During theafternoon period when humidity is at its lowest the warmest temperatures arepresent. Summer months experience the extreme temperatures (blue line) with thehighest occuring in the mid-afternoon. This portion of the day also marks whenthe highest level of solar gain (yellow line) is experienced. During the morning Julyhours temperatures and solar gain are relatively manageble but are replaced byhigh levels of humidity. Throughout the course of the day all conditions of con-cern are experienced. During the winter months temperatures are relatively constant with slight Passive solutions are employed in Merida to counteract the harmfulpeaks occuring during the late afternoon. Solar gain is still a concern with levels and oppressive conditions created from the high temperatures andsignificantly exceeding temperatures. Winter months experience harsh levels of high levels of humidity. Massive materials, such as brick, stonehumidity far supassing and solar or temperature concerns. and masonry units help to insulate spaces and prevent against a steady infiltration of hot air and humidity. The use of angled wallsDesign Response to Summer Conditions let in daylight while at the same time prevent direct sunlight from entering into spaces. Awnings provide an operable remedy to block December The summer months in Merida have the potential to reach extreme tem- solar radiation and can be altered during different daylightingperatures even going as high as 104 degrees F. As a result, Merida experiences conditions and different times of the day. When sunlight is less op-a high level of solar radiation in the spring and summer. Design choices and pressive awnings can be closed to allow a greater level of daylightconsiderations need to take into account ways to minimize high levels of solar to filter into the buildings’ interiors.infiltration. To counteract the heat and provide adequate shading overhangs,
  18. 18. trees and shading devices all stand as viable solutions. Passive and simple shading solutions include long roof eaves over windows, angled walls and doors and retractable awnings. Long roof eaves and the use of angled walls will prevent direct light from entering the space without completely blocking out natural daylight. Awnings and the strategic plantings of trees not only minimizes heat gain in the summer but also allows for manual adjustment and light infiltration in winter. The use of structural materials can also help to minimize heat gain within the building. Using thick and massive building materials such as masonry, stone, and brick will keep a more constant temperature indoors. By keeping the level of sun infiltration into the building at a constant internal heat gains by direct or diffused radiation will be minimized. In addtion to the hot climate the area is prone to droughts which can last anywhere from two to five years. Design Response to Winter Conditions The Mediterranean climate of Merida keeps the area relatively mild in Analyzing the paychrometric chart, very few months fall into the zone of comfort. Comfortable temperatures (70-75 degrees F) most commonly winter with temperatures rarely reaching below 34 degrees F. Since theoccur during the autumn months. In winter and summer temperatures either fall short or greatly exceed this temperature range. As indicated on the prime concern during these months is not about keeping the heat out ofchart all conditions falling within or above the comfort zone require sun shading or a method to diffuse natural light. Though humidity levels can be buildings, winter concerns center around maintaining comfortable tem-extreme in Merida, as indicated by the dark green zone, natural ventilation can help alleviate most of the moisture in the air. peratures and exploiting the available sunlight to maintain this constant. During the winter it is best to maximize the solar radiation within buildings and allow for some level of direct solar infiltration into the site. As mentioned before using thicker masonry as a prime construction material will keep the inte- rior temperature relatively consistent. Allowing these thick walls to be warmed by the sun will keep the maximum amount of heat within the confines of the building envelope. While humidity and winds tend to be low in the area, frequent fog occurs during the autumn and winter months. To maintain constant tem- peratures strategic placement of windows should replace large expanses of glass.
  19. 19. Site Analysis
  20. 20. Approaching the Site1. Puente Romano Longest surviving bridge from ancient times, having once featured anestimated overall length of 755 meters wtih 62 spans. Today the bridge has 60spans and measures 721 meters. Including the approaches the structure mea-sures a total of 790 meters.2. Aqueduct of Los Milagros 2. Part of the transfer that brought water to Merida from the PreserpinaDam located 5 kilometers from the city. The structure dates from the early 1st 3.century B.C. The arcade is fairly well preserved, especially the section that spansthe valley of the Albarregas river. 4.3. Aqueduct of Rabo Buey-San Lazaro This aqueduct brought water from streams and underground springs lo-cated north of the city. The subterranean part of the acqueduct is very well pre-served unlike the structure built to across the Albarregas river. Currently onlythree pillars and their arches survive. 5.4. Romano Circus The Roman hippodrome used for chariot racing was modeled on the 6.Circus Maximus in Rome and other circus structures throughout the empire.Measuring more than 400 meters in length and 30 meters in width it is one of 1.the best preserved examples of the Roman circus. The circus, during the time ofits use, could house up to 30,000 spectators.5. Temple of Diana The building is a municipal buiding belonging to the city forum. It isone of the few buildings are religious character preserved in a satisfactory state.Despite its name, wrongly assigned in its discovery, the building was dedicatedto the Imperial cult. It was built in the later 1st century B.C. or early in theAugustinian era. Rectangular and surrounded by columns, the temple faces thefront of the city’s Forum. This front was formed by a set of six columns endingin a gable. It is mainly built of granite.6. Alcazaba The structure was built by Abderraman II in 835 B.C. as a strongholdto control the city which since 805 has rebelled continuously against the rule ofthe Empire. It is the first Arab citadel of the Iberian Peninsula. It is a complexstructure consisting of a large area of 130 square meters to accommodate largetroops.
  21. 21. 1. Puente Romano 2. Aqueduct of Los Milagros 3. Aqueduct of Rabo de Buey-San Lazaro4. Roman Circus 5. Temple of Diana 6. Alcazaba
  22. 22. Siting The majority of the buildings around the site of the Museo are resi- dential. To the east of the site sits sin- gular residential buildings that abide The location for the Museo de la Memoria is situated in the more his- by a relatively regular grid unlike thetorical portion of the city. Pedestrian ciruclation is prevalent in the com- western portion which is compactlymunity while vehicular traffic has found its niche with distinctive parking organized. The site seems to sit be-areas and on-street spots. The area surrounding the site houses a variety of tween two building typologies in Me-different building programs and building functions with the most domi- rida with the eastern portion beingnant by far being housing. Restaurants, retail, schools and the Museo more modern and the western por-de Romano by Rafael Moneo can also be found interspersed the area. tion organized in a more traditional fashion. Though primarily residential to the north of the site there are more Two different arhcitectural typologies also seems to flank the designated public buildings: educational facilitiessite with the eastern half introducing more modern urban influences. In this and retail.portion the buildings stands alone while abiding by a strict, angular grid. Land-scape and planting can be found clustered together giving the space a more sub-urban aesthetic. The portion of the city west of the site depicts a more historical-ly accurate architectural response to Spanish urban planning. Following a moreorganish organization, few instances can be noted of interstitial space remainingbetween buildings. It is more common for the buildings to abut one anothercreating large, cohesive blocks. In this case individuality of buildings is de-noted through the use of different colors and materials rather than actual yards. Sticking to a relatively neutral palette the buildings all seem to incorporatethe same building materials such as stucco, masonry, and brick. While this is morethe case in the western portion, green space is more commonly concentrated intoparks with smaller, singular trees dotting the long roadways. Landscaping is moreabundant to the east but even so its remains clustered together in small pockets. Pedestrian circulation is equally intermixed with vehicular circula-tion. Most roadways are abutted by sidewalks on both sides. The variety ofuses within the relatively small footprint make the area vibrant and lively.
  23. 23. 4. 3. 2. 1. 1. Puente Romano 2. Alcazaba 5. 6. 7. 3. Plaza Major 4. Temple of Diana5. Los Columbarios 6. Plaza de Toros 7. House of Mithraeum
  24. 24. Site ConditionsApproaches The site is easily accessible by both vehicular traffic as well as pedestrian trav-el. Being in the more historic section of Merida, pedestrian travel is commonas on-street parking may be harder to come by. The neighborhoods surroudingthe site are characterized by roadways flanked by sidewalks which further pro-mote pedestrian travel. Prime pedestrian approaches to the site can be identi-fied to the north-western, north-eastern and south-eastern edges of the site.The north-western approach connects the site to the Museo de Arte Romano,the north-eastern approach directly relates to the neighboring Ruinas Romanoand the south-eastern approach filters through the gridded residential develop-ment. This consideration and accommodation of on-foot travel will encouragepasserbys into the site. Numerous roadways converge around the adjacent Roman ruins and the sitefor the Museo maximizing entry opportunities into the Museo. Surroundingthe site on three sides, southern, eastern and western, the Museo is situated ina highly visible location. Such exposure will be invaluable to drawing visitorsto the museum. Exploiting and controlling entry into the site will be necessarysince currently there are exisiting approaches on all sides.Zones The area around the site for the Museo is highly diverse. Incorporatingboth the old with the new, the majority of the buildings surrouding the site aredesignated as residential. A variety of historic sites such as the Roman Theater,Roman Amphitheater, and the Ruinas Romano all lay in close proximity to thesite. Plans for the future Museo de Arte Visigodo will also be constructed justsouth of the Roman Theater. Though surrounded primarily by ruins and resi-dential buildings, major vehicular roadways buffer the site from the apartmentblocks and provide a clear delineation of the space.
  25. 25. Views While the surrounding areaaround the site is primarily built-up and developed, the majority ofthe views from the site are focusedon what green space does exist. Ofany area within the site it appearsthat the spot designated for theMuseo de la Memoria actually pos-sesses the most landscape and green-ery. Standing in the northern mostspot on the site (1) one will be ableto simultaneously admire the Museode la Memoria as well as Moneo’sde Arte Romano. Continuingalong this road there are clear viewsthrough the site to the ruins (5,9).Within the site views of the naturalgreenery frame the Roman ruins andthe neighboring museum (2,3,7,8).
  26. 26. Sequence Two juxtaposing sequences oc-cur on the site. One is primarilyconcerned with highlighting the sur-rounding architecture, whether thisbe the Roman ruins or the Museo deArte Romano by Rafael Moneo. Thisrelatively straight “path” runs fromthe north-western portion of the sitecutting across to the south-easternportion near the ruins. This connec-tion between the Roman work andthe twentieth-century architectureslices directly through the site for theMuseo. This axis seeks to draw a strongconnection between past and present. Juxtaposing the architectural se-quence, the second sequence is moreconcerned with framing the naturalenvironment of the site. Meander-ing through the site, and followinga primarily pedestrian path at theright portion of the site (thoughalso used as a service route), thissequence is primarily surroundedwith landscape and greenery. Thesequence, while concerntrating onvegetation, also connects the twostreets that lie parallel to the site.
  27. 27. Materials The materials used on the siteare conservative and true to the lo-cal and historic architecture. Suchheavy building materials, such asbrick and stonework, can be tracedback to Roman art and building andhave remained the common build-ing materials up the twentieth-firstcentury. While instances of colorsare interjected sproadically into thelocal architecture the materials tendto stick to a neutral palette. Whileneutral tones are common placethe various textures add a rich di-mension to the building facades. The direct connection to historycan be easily understood as the siteabuts important Roman, Visigoth-ic, and Arab locations. Through-out Merida’s history these materi-als were constantly in re-use beingquarried and moved from the dif-ferent sites to aid in the renovationsof Roman structures. Remainingtexturally and aesthetically accurateand through the use of these heavybuilding materials is a primary ar-chitectural concern of Merida.
  28. 28. Vegetation The majority of the vegetation found on-site is native to the region. Of the six-teen species only two (Prunus Dulcis and Wild Olive) are not natively grown inthe area of Merida. Such species can be traced back to the Middle East and South-ern Asia, undoubtedly brought to the area during the Arabic period of control. The various species all range in height with the Spanish First reachingheights of ninety-six feet while smaller trees such as the Lacy Self-Healand the Bee Orchid only reach roughly one foot. In addition to differentheights, the vegetation can also accommodate various levels of moisture, akey point that responds to the dry and at times extremely hot temperatures. Directly adjacent to the site the vegetation is primarily made up of thePink Siris, Italian Stone Pine, Alepp Pine and Austrian Pine. The smallest ofthis assortment is the Pink Siris reaching anywhere between ten to twenty fivefeet. The rest of the surrounding vegetation reaches heights of fourty feet. Moving farther to the east the majority of the plantings are the Ju-das planting, Burgundy Belle, and Scrub oak. In relation to the west-ern portion of the site these plantings are actually shorter in heightonly reacing to about twenty feet with the exception of the Burgun-dy Belle which can reach heights of fourty feet to fourty-five feet.
  29. 29. Surrounding Architecture
  30. 30. Archaeology The Importance of Memory 1. 3. 2. Merida’s layered history had lead to numerous archaeological discoveriesand excavations throughout the city. Interest in documenting and preservingthese ruins and discoveries can date back to the 16th century with the epigraphiccollection of Don Fernando de Vera y Vargas, Senor Don Tello and Sierra Brava 1. Museo de Arte Romanoin the 16th century. Later in 1838 the collection, totally 557 pieces, was donatedto the Convent of Santa Clara. Though the collection continued to grow it wasnot until the 1900s (1910-1936) that the Jose Ramon Melida, a Professor of 4.Archaeology, and Maximiliano Macias, an archaeologist, made extensive con-tributions. During these 26 years the collection increased from 557 pieces to3000. Their primary areas of focus included the Teatro, Amphitheatro, Circus,Necropolis and the Roman houses. The contributions by Melida and Maciasestablihsed Merida as an important, national archaeological city. 5. 2. Furture Expansion of the Museo de Arte Romano1. Rafael Moneo’s Museo de Arte Romano (1981-1986) Designed by Rafael Moneo; houses an array of Romano artifacts and art pieces.2. Rafael Moneo’s Future Expansion of the Museo de Arte Romano To accommodate the Museo’s growing collection the west corner of the 6. site will house an addition to be designed by Rafael Moneo.3. Ruinas Romano (Ruins of a Roman House) Left as an unassembled ruin; demonstrates the typical Roman house configuration in plan. 3. Ruinas Romano4. Teatro Romano Translated to the Romano Theater; built between 15-16 B.C. by the consul Agrippa Vipsanio.5. Roman Amphitheater Originates to the 8th century B.C.; used for gladitorial contests, staged beast-hunts and at times was even flooded to host mock naval battles.6. Rafael Moneo’s Future Visigothic Museum While Visigothic pieces have been displayed in the Museo de Arte Romano, the growing collection is demanding its own space to be designed by Rafael Moneo 4. Teatro Romano 5. Roman Amphitheater 6. Future Visigothic Museum
  31. 31. Major excavations occured duringthe 1930s under the direction of JoseRamon Melida and MaximilianoMacias. Present day interest in ar-chaeology and the preservation of his-torical architecture is still very active.In the past twenty years continuousexcavations have taken place (close totwenty per year). With the culmina-tions of the twenty first century exca-vations have futher increased to closeto 50 excavations per year.
  32. 32. Teatro Romano The Teatro Romano, translated to the Roman Theater, has become themost commonly visited archaeological site in Merida. It is estimated that thetheater was built between 15 and 16 B.C. by the consul Agrippa Vipsanio. Itlater went through stages of renovations between the first and second centurywhen Merida was under the rule of Trajan. Once again between the years of330 and 340 B.C. a second renovation took place. During the second renova-tion the Emperor Constantine added a walkway and new decorative elementsto the structure. Later when Christians came to rule in Merida, theatricalperformances were declared immoral and the theater was abandoned. To en-sure that the theater would not be usable, the majority of the building wasburied and covered with earth. Only the uppper tiers as a result were visible. The two major protagonists of the site work in tandem together as Dating back to the 18th century plans for excavating and revitalizing the prime examples of the layering of culture that has occured in Meri- da. These sites not only demonstrate the level of architectural innova-site have been documented. Plans even suggested that an idea to complete tion possessed by the Romans but the turmoil they have indured withthe semi-circle and create a bull fighting ring was proposed. Though un- the conquest of the region. Both the theater and the amphitheaterclear as to why, these plans were never brought to fruition. It was not until are prime examples of how the various conquerors manipulated ex- isting architecture to accommodate their needs and cultural beliefs.the early 20th century that true restoration began. Though archaeologicalfindings are common in Merida the Teatro was one of the most extensivearchaeological sites in all of Spain. During the beginning of the 20th cen-tury major archeological excavation commenced and the site was reassembledbased on available records and documentation. Though the original assem-bly of the Teatro is not completely known avaiable resources have allowedresearchers to make educated quesses in regards to it original appearance.Years later in 1993 the site was deemed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The ruin demonstrates the history of Merida and it’s architectural beau-ty. The interest in archeological restoration and the maintenance of placeis an underlying presence. Sensitivity to what once took place on the siteand uniting this history with current needs establishes an interesting dy-namic with this ruin. Rather than appreciating the site as a static enti-ty, performances still occur on the site. Music performances and theat-rical performances all take place on a regular basis at the Teatro Romano.
  33. 33. Roman Amphitheater The Roman Amphitheater, along with the Teatro, was excavated at thebeginning of the 20th century. Originally, in 8 B.C., the site was used for gla-ditorial contests, staged beast-hunts and at times was even flooded to host mocknaval battles. The amphitheater consists of an elliptical area with tiered seatingfor over 15,000 spectators. Conforming to the contours of the site the slope ofthe amphitheater moves with the natural slope of the slight enabling a seemlessmovement from beyond the Amphitheater into it’s center. The tiered seatingalso conforms with this slope. Based on historic documentation, the lowest tierswere reserved for the wealthiest patrons and the highest tiers for the lower classes. As a result of Merida’s layered history the Amphitheater was at times notwell received. As usage for the amphitheater began to waine and the perfor-mances were no longer carried out the decision was made to quarry the stonein the upper tiers of the amphitheater and incorporate it into the constructionof nearby buildings. As seen in many other historical buildings materials weresalvaged and transported to be used on other locations. While a large portionof the theater has been excavated and reassembled to be enjoyed by the publicthe amphitheater is less complete. The lowest tiers have been partially restoredbut the highest tiers, whose stone was at one time removed, remains unresolved. Today the remains of both the Teatro and the Amphitheater are easily visibleto the public. Their location within the heart of Merida mark the roots of the city.Nestled into the slope of the sight and sited at a slightly lower elevation than thesurrounding buildings the Roman ruins stand as a constant marker of Merida’shistory. Unlike the Teatro the Amphitheater is not used for present day events.
  34. 34. Museo de Arte Romano The Museo de Arte Romano, designed by Rafael Moneo, was construc-tured between the years 1981 and 1986. The museum houses a vast array ofRomano artifacts and art pieces. This extensive collection dates back to theoriginal epigraphic collection of Don Fernando de Vera y Vargas, Senor DonTello and Sierra Brava in the 16th century. Family members of the origial hold-ings maintained and added to the collection until the year 1838 when a totalof 557 pieces were donated to the Convent of Santa Clara. Up until the timeof the donation pieces were sporatically added but it was not until the twenti-eth century that major additions were made. Between the years of 1910 and Gallery Floor Plan1936 Professor of Archaeology, Jose Roman Melida and archaeologist Maxi-miliano Macia headed major archaeological excavations in Merida. Specialareas of focus included the theater, amphitheater, Roman Circus, Necropolisand the Roman houses in the area. During this time (1910-1936) the collec-tion drastically increased in size from 557 pieces to 3,000. These great stridesin uncovering the past established Merida as an important archaeological city. Rafael Moneo, building in the 1980s, was faced with a concern for acheiv-ing personal style and identity in regards to architecture. Architects of the timewere trying to create signatures that would be recognizable across the globe andthat completely disregarded the importance of site and place. This was also thetime of the New York Five who strove for pure, simplified forms. Moneo, instark contrast, promoted the idea of site and its influence on design. Unlike hispeers at the time, Moneo was interested in promoting the integrity of place andsite. Seeing the importance of incorporating the physical environment with de-sign Moneo’s work directly responds to the history and vernacular of the place. Born in Tudela, Navarra, Spain, Rafael Moneo stayed true to his roots in re- Basement floor plan; houses the ruins and the cryptgards to education studying at the Madrid University of Architecture as well astaking part in a fellowship at the Academy of Rome. In his later years he took partin fellowships in American schools such as Cooper Union, eventually becomingchairman of the architecture department at the GSD. In the twenty-first centu-ry the Museo has become a center for research into Roman culture of Hispania.
  35. 35. Transverse Section of the Museo de Arte RomanoSection through the gallery and basement excavation
  36. 36. Each level of the Museo de Arte Romano is further subdivided into areas of interest. The ground level houses the largest displays and artifacts, the second level the smallest of artifacts, and the uppermost level focuses on the more historicaldocumentation of Merida during the time of Roman settlement and establishment.
  37. 37. In regards to the Museo de Arte Romano, excavation at the site uncovered a vastarray of artifacts including fragments of aqueducts, burial grounds and peristyles.Respecting the site, it was decided that the building would co-exist with the land-scape and as a result the excavations would remain on-site with the building andsimply encase the area. Consisting of ten bays, each with a different theme, themain gallery space pays homage to the traditional Roman vocabulary and build-ing motifs. Influenced by Roman architecture and Hellenistic motifs, the exte-rior facade is relatiely modest and highly geometric. The massive exterior facadeseeks to completely counteract the verticality and height of the building as wellas keep the building highly introverted. Appertures that do exist on the facadeact as sources of light and ventilation but are not concerned with framing viewsor providing opportunities for transparancy. The only facade that provides anyattempt at opening up to the street is the east facade which sits directly oppositethe archeological ruins. This portion houses the service programmatic elements. The relatively limited numbers of building materials used in the construction ofthe Museo pays tribute to ancient building practices. Building materials for theMuseo de Arte Romano include colored brick made in Sevilla, Spain. The thinslender bricks, though not reminiscient of traditional Roman masonry blocks actas the link between ancient design and modernity. While the exterior of the build-ing is kept relatively modest, the interior spaces create a sense of movement withinthe gallery. On the upper two levels walkways lead to additional exhibition spaces. To bring light into the space, while keeping the space relatively closed off fromthe bustling exterior, a central nave was employed that would filter in light. Light isnot only allowed to directly enter the space but rather is diffused into the buildingcreating soft light and a calm ambaince. The way in which the light hits the differ-ent levels also helps to define the different spaces within the museum. The lowestlevel of the building, the location of the excavated ruins, houses the crypt. Keptcompletely open aside from the structural pillars the ruins are illuminated with aseries of four semicircular aperatures that open up to the street level of Merida. Future plans for the Museum include an additional building to house ad-ditional Roman displays. A separate buiding, also to be designed byRafael Moneo, is intended to display artifacts and artwork specifi-cally designated as part of the Visigothic and Christian collection.
  38. 38. Design Proposal
  39. 39. It’s About ThresholdsIt’s about thresholds.The threshold between past and present, the threshold between light and dark.A seamless progression between these juxtaposing notions through the use of rich materialsand familiar motifs.A continuous passage between time and space not only reflected within the walls but as arepresentation of the numerous thresholds embedded within the history of the place.In moving from space to space taking in layer upon layer of history one captures the essenceof another era, another time and place. Submerged in history one feels the transition fromthreshold to threshold as they take a trip through Merida’s memories.The notion of memory is one that is reliant on the insular emotions of the individual. Suchreflections can only be understood through tht eyes of the viewer. A space devoted tomemeory needs to connect to the familiar. Familiar in color, language, and setting.Views outward connect the inhabitant to the landscape of the place. Within the space onenever forgets what lies around them. The rich history, the vistas, the lush landscapes. Suchconstant reminders help to create strong connections.Reaching outward to present day. Re-enforcing the threshold between today and yesterday.It is here a dialogue must be clearly heard. This dialogue stems back to the founding of Mer-ida. A conversation that has continuted for hundreds of years between cultures and religions.It is a conversation that remains ongoing and must be recorded for all ears to hear.It’s about connecting to the spirit of each age while paying homage to the Merida of today.Bringing together the ancient with the new. Modern in form while in the same vein remain-ing true to color, language, and tactile quality the space must in itself act as the thresholdbetween both worlds.It is ultimately about thresholds.
  40. 40. Prior to design, a series of collages were developed to demonstrate three major concepts regardingspatiality of the Museo de la Memoria: the relationship between one programmatic element to thenext, the relationship with the outdoors, and a spatial condition within a gallery space. The images andideas conveyed in the collages were intended to demonstrate an overall position and attitude regard-ing the future design process. At the time the collages were developed no exact information regardingprogram was given. Information provided was restricted to the site’s location and general description ofthe project. The stated goal of the Museo de la Memoria was to capture and document the rich historyof Merida, Spain by providing spaces for all four major historic and religious periods. Knowing thatMerida’s history was intrinsically layered with Roman, Visigothic, Arab and Christian influences, theattitude taken toward developing the project was to concentrate on the notion of thresholds. Thresh-olds between times and eras would need to be captured in the displays and within each gallery but intandem the threshold between space and place would help to established a sense of continuity withinthe building. Through each collage this concept of positioning onself within a space with outlets, viewsand glimpses at spaces beyond is demonstrated. Graphically the collages were to encorporate imagesrelating to or directly from the site. Each collage, therefore, is infused with images from the site givingeach collage credibility relating to place.Relationship Within a GallerySpace The collage demonstrates the continuity of the space with interior to exterior through positionedportals. This flow from interior space to the landscape beyond keeps the inhabitant aware of their sur-roundings through these thresholds. In conjunction with a streamlined connection between indoorsand out, connections to spaces below and above are suggested through smaller, more abstract, weavingsbetween the walls and ground plane.Relationship Between Programmtic Elements Constant dialogue between spaces will create a sense of mystery as to what spaces lie beyond.Glimpses above and out of the building establish a greater sense of locality and open up the scale. Thischange from expansion to compression also helps highlight and demarcate the location of thresholdswithin the building. Creating dicotomies between scale, illumination and views addes a dynamic senseof grandeur.Relationship with the Landscape Capturing the beauty of the existing natural landscape of the site establish a threshold between thebuilt world and the natural world. Rather than keeping this threshold organic and free flowing, a morecontrolled organization will help to bring out the area’s beauty. Through framed instances the landscap-ing can filter into the space and highlight certain key viewpoints.
  41. 41. Design Proposal Nestled in the heart of the historic center of Merida, the design proposalfor the Museo de la Memoria speaks to numerous facets of the site. Such facetsinclude the Roman ruins, Moneo’s Museum of Roman Art, and the intersec-tion of numerous axes. Creating this relationship is vital in establishing a securefoundation in Merida as a commemorative piece of architecture. Taking intoconsideration the surrounding architecture, the treatment of the site requires alevel of sensitivity to ensure that the integrity of the historic architecture at itsperiphery is maintained. Rafael Moneo’s Museo, a twenty-year veteran to thesite, must work in tandem with the new museum. Connecting and relating theentry points of each space will establish a sense of community on-site. The majority of the immediate site for the Museo is flat. Directly north ofthe site boundary is a slight six foot slope upward but overall the site creates aflat footing for the building. To the west of the site’s boundary the land beginsto slope down to the Roman Ruins. This slope was utilized in the creation of theTheater and the Amphitheather’s seating and allows these sites to be highly vis-ible from the Museo’s location. Ensuring that the ruins would be displayed fromthe site forced design considerations to be made as to how such views couldbe maintained while at the same time provide security to these historic monu-ments. While the purpose of the Museo is to view and understand the historyof Merida, tickets to visit the ruins can also be purchased. Those simply passingthrough the site should not be able to filter in and out of the ruins. Control atthis site boundary was a key consideration. Traveling east and west through the site is easily accomplished, but as withthe southern edge of the site the northern edge needed to be throughly consid-ered. From the ground plane of the Museo to the adjacent roadway a significanteight to ten foot drop occurs. Movement from the road to the Museo from thenorthern most portion of the site needed to be facilitated while at the same timereinforcing the site’s boundary. The existing slope is not easily traveled on footso allowing direct movement from the street was a serious design decision. Addressing the surrounding architecture and highlighting the natural land-
  42. 42. The Museo de Arte Romano currently possesses a link to the Roman ruins that begins in the lobby of the museum and brings travelers undergroundto a subterranean tunnel and into the site between the theater and the amphitheater. Tunneling under the site for the Museo de la Memoria a pathexists that directly connects the museum with the ruins and bypasses the major roadways and public plaza which constitutes the proposed site.
  43. 43. The site has a slight slope especially around the amphitheater and theather. The majority of the ground plane that constitutes the immediate site is flat. In relation to the adjacent Roman ruins the siteslopes roughly twelve feet upwards. This conditions allows those on the site to observe a slight bird’s eye view of the ruins. At the northern point of the site to the road there is a drop of between eight to tenfeet. Beyond this the road continues to slope downward further increasing the distance between the road and the site’s ground plane. Though at most instances the museum will be observed at eye level inthe case of the northern most corner of the site the building will be significantly elevated from the road. This view will accentuate the scale and height of the building.
  44. 44. SOUTH ELEVATION
  45. 45. scape establishes a sense of place. The site is highly permeable and the flatground plane along with the open piazza makes the creation of framed views vi-tal in grounding the inhabitant. Without this control the exterior as well as theinterior will lack a cohesive spatial quality. This creation of framed views on thesite as well as on the interior is key in reaffirming relationships. These views arenot only important in establishing relationships but also give the visitor a pointof reference when moving through the interior of the building. The views ofprimary importance are the major on-site piazza adjacent to the museum’s entry,the small scale ruins north of the site and the two large Roman ruins. While thedesign proposal takes into account the surrouding views by shifting in plan, thebuilding is highly introverted. Major facades are highly monolithic with open-ings strategically placed to draw the viewer out into the site at specific momentsin the building. The highly asymmetrical shaped site adds another dimension in the cre-ation of the building’s formal angles. Though the general topography of the siteis basically flat, the edges pose the greatest challenge in handling the site. Eachedge that demarcates the site’s borders all require different responses. The shiftof the northernmost facade enables the building to hug the site’s perimeter. Thesouthern edge of the site separates the museum from the Roman ruins. Securityinto the site needs to be established and re-designed. Currently this border isdefined by a chain-link fence providing little visual interest. This border willenliven the approach from the eastern point of the site. The promenade-likewalkway affords a unique opportunity to survey the ruins that surround the slen-der path. At the other end of the site, the northwestern portion filters into thesurrounding streets and local shops. This axis must remain highly permeablewhile in the same regard have a clear sense of boundary and point of entry. Thenorthern point is by far the most complicated and drastic edge. Along this bor-der a small retaining wall separates the street from the land by roughly a threefoot drop. This drastic change in ground level allows the buidling to sit atop a“pedestal” but has the potential to appear overwhelming in size. Breaking downthe scale at this instance will prevent this corner from becoming disassociatedwith the surrouding neighborhood. Rather than being centrally located on thesite the building sits off to the northern edge to allow for a large urban pavilionadjacent to the Romans ruins. This public space will act as a way to give back tothe general public, creating a piazza-like aesthetic reminiscent of Spanish city SITE PLANplanning. This space will also allow the opportunity to frame selected views tothe Amphitheather and the Theater.
  46. 46. APPROACHESSOUTH ELEVATION
  47. 47. Positioning the building in the northern point of the site the ground planeconnecting the Museum of Roman Art to the Roman ruins remains open andloosely defined. By allowing thie portion to be untouched by the building apiazza is created. This space can be given back to the neighborhood and main-tained as a major circulation corridor linking the different ends of the city. Un-obstructed views from the surrounding streets are also maintained due to thebuilding’s location. Approaching the site from Moneo’s museum views of theruins are framed. The streets that extend sound of the site are also allowed tofilter into the space. Due to the nautre of Merida it was important to keep the ground plane asuntouched as possible. Such as was the case of Moneo’s museum as well as otherbuildings in the city, during excavation processes numerous buried ruins havebeen discovered. To avoid the risk of distrupting ancient ruins the building sitslightly on the ground rather than submerging itself. Such a condition results inthe building being slightly larger in scale than the surrounding buildings. Determining the overall form of the building involved analyzing historicalbuilding prototypes in the area. Understanding the purpose and benefits oftraditional Roman house construction led to the development of the plan forthe Museo. Stemming from the Roman house prototype and its use of the im-pluvium allowed passive strategies to be employed, a repetitive and organizing Section 1: North west/South eastrhytym to be developed and the building to remain compact. The impluviums,or small pools, found in ancient Roman houses were located under opening inthe house’s roofs. These components were sunken into the floor and used tocatch rainwater that ran off the roof. This pool was then connected to a cisternand allowed the rainwater to be stored and then used at a later time for differenthousehold needs. Not only did the atrium provide a passive solution for rainwa-ter catchment but the opening in the roof facilitated ventilation and the move-ment of air within the house. During especially hot months any warm air withinthe building would rise and move out and away from the house. This constantmovement of air provided, to some degree, a passive form of air conditioning inthe building. The use of the interior atrium and impluvium, while helping to provide apassive solution to ventilating the space, also allowed the building’s overall foot Typical Roman House Plan: All spaces are located directly off of the house’s centralprint to remain compact. By using the atrium as an organizing component for atrium space.which the program would pin wheel around prevented the building from creep-
  48. 48. INTERIOR ATRIUM The atrium acts as the primcipal organizing element for which the building pin-wheels around. This atrium adds consistency and regularity to the building andcontrasts the exterior program which interlocks with each other and staggers in section. The atrium’s regularity provides a way for the circulation both in the galleryspaces as well as to the other spaces in the building to be organized. The singular floor to floor heights in the atrium determines the rise of each means of circulation.
  49. 49. To respond to the numerous importantsites and locations around the Museum theprogram has a dialogue with points of inter-est extending beyond the building’s exteriorwalls. The special prgrammatic elements, thegalleries, would establish focused views out-ward. Responding to both important loca-tions of the present day as well as historicalsites, each gallery’s view allows the inhabit-ant to establish a better sense of place. Dueto the building hermetic nature these focalpoints will provide a clearer sense of one’s po-sitioning in the building.
  50. 50. Points of focal interest are the major piazza space directly in front of the Mu- seum, the Teatro Romano, the Amfiteatro Romano and the Ruinas Romano. Focal points were assigned to the location of the gallery spaces. Based on the position be- tween the gallery and the point of interest angled view points could be determined. RUINAS ROMANO - Focal Point from the ArabicGalleryPIAZZA - Focal Point from the City Gallery AMFITEATRO ROMANO - Focal Point from the Vigisothic Gallery TEATRO ROMANO - Focal Point from the Roman Gallery
  51. 51. 2. 3.1.
  52. 52. NORTH ELEVATION
  53. 53. ing out into the site. Instead, the building was able to remain in the northerncorner and keep the piazza space open for public use. Positioning the building in the northern point of the site the ground planeconnecting the Museum of Roman Art to the Roman ruins remains open andloosely defined. By allowing this portion to be untouched by the building apiazza is created. This space can be given back to the neighborhood and main-tained as a major circulation corridor linking the different ends of the city. Un-obstructed views from the surrounding streets are also maintained due to thebuilding’s location. Approaching the site from Moneo’s museum views of theruins are framed. The streets that extend sound of the site are also allowed tofilter into the space. Due to the nautre of Merida it was important to keep the ground plane asuntouched as possible. Such as was the case of Moneo’s museum as well as otherbuildings in the city, during excavation processes numerous buried ruins havebeen discovered. To avoid the risk of distrupting ancient ruins the building sitslightly on the ground rather than submerging itself. Such a condition results inthe building being slightly larger in scale than the surrounding buildings. Taking into consideration the views, edges and angles, the building formslightly shifts and rotates. Exterior form may not be reminiscent of traditionalRoman architecture and be more site-oriented but the building’s interior wasdirectly derived from the traditional Roman house plan. Though rather thanbeing highly orthagonal and instead pin-wheeling around a central atrium corethe design still adoptes the major formal principle. The overall program for the Museo calls for three gallery spaces equal in sizeand one gallery two times greater. Beginning with a strict rectangular module,the building can be broken down into five components: the atrium core, CityCore, Arabic core, Visigothic core and Roman core. Abstracting the traditioanlRoman house plan, the atrium is adapted from the traditional “impluvium” withall living quarters radiating from this central space. Responding to the traditon-al Roman typology the building is internally focused around the central atriumcore. Continuing with this concept it is essential that this space be the grandestin height and greatly contrast the form of the remaining program. PROGRAM ORGANIZATION
  54. 54. 6. 7. 5. 4. 3. 8. 1. 9. 10. 2. BOOKSTOREGROUND FLOOR1. Ticket Booth The ground floor houses the primary public spaces, cafe and bookstore, as2. Bookstore well as the major service spaces, the kitchen and restoration workshop. The3. Storage gallery sequence also begins on this level starting with the gallery dedicated4. Janitor’s Closet to the City. In the top left portion of the building the restoration workshop5. Cafe is located farther away from the public spaces to allow a greater level of pri-6. Kitchen vacy for workers. Rather than move this space to a higher level in a more7. Restoration Workshop private portion of the building, the workshop remains on the ground level to8. City Gallery allow for easy loading of large artifacts and art pieces.9. Women’s Bath10. Men’s Bath
  55. 55. VIEW OUT CITY GALLERY WINDOW
  56. 56. EAST ELEVATION WEST ELEVATION
  57. 57. 11. 12. 13.SECOND FLOOR Following the processional gallery route, the second floor brings the visitor into the Ara-11. Arabic Gallery bic Gallery. This level provides bird’s eye views of the double height programs on the first12. Women’s Bath level. The majority of the second level is focused on appreciating the interlocking spaces13. Men’s Bath of the building and investigating the spaces below and beyond the immediate floor level.
  58. 58. Section 2: North - north east/South - south west
  59. 59. To respond to the layering of Merida’s history, primary focus is paid to es-tablish rich thresholds and processional movements from one gallery space tothe next. this processional is created by the celebratory stairs that extend from THIRD FLOORone space to the next. In juxtaposition to the processional circulation the centralatrium serves as another method for circulating within the space. While the 14. Administration Officefirst circulation path is highly introverted with special interest geared toward 15. Administration Office 18. 16. Administration Officedisplaying and highlighting the artifacts the other ciruclation path is more light 17. Janitor’s Closetand free with a consideration geared toward understanding the vertical relation- 18. Visigothic Galleryships between spaces. This circulation is more suitable for the staff, workers and 19. Archivehandicap visitors. 20. Women’s Bath 21. Men’s Bath Stacked in section the building creates a processional highlighting therich history of the place beginning with the gallery dedicated to the modern city The third floor houses the third gallery 17. in the sequence: the Visigothic gallery.of Merida and taking steps back in time to the Arabic Gallery, Visigothic and Also on this level is the double heightfinally culminating with the Roman gallery. By alternating and raising the gal- 14. Archival space which houses docu-leries one full story (12 feet) interstitial spaces varying in height from 12 to 24 ments and sensitive material. Thoughfeet are created allowing for an interlocking sectional quality. With this varia- 19. the majority of the service program is 20.tion in floor to floor height framed views from level to level establish a better 21. 15. located on the ground level, the ad-understanding of space as well as amplify the verticality of the building. 16. ministration offices are located on this third level to provide a greater sense Taking into consideration the views, edges and angles, the building’s form of privacy for those working at theslightly shifts and rotates. Exterior form may not be reminiscent of traditionalRoman architecture and be more site-oriented but the building’s interior wasdirectly derived from the traditional Roman house plan. Though rather thanbeing highly orthagonal and instead pin-wheeling around a central atrium corethe design still adoptes the major formal principle. SOUTH ELEVATION
  60. 60. VIEW OUT ARABIC GALLERY WINDOW
  61. 61. Section 3: South - south west/North - north east
  62. 62. 23. 22. 24. 25.FOURTH FLOOR22. Roman Gallery23. Reading Room24. Women’s Bath25. Men’s Bath The final gallery, the Roman gallery, is located on the fourth floor. Though the fourth floor isnot the final story of the building this marks the end of the procession through Merida’s history.At this location one can also look down into the archival space and spend time in the readingroom which, along with the archives, contains literature and documents regarding Merida.
  63. 63. FIFTH FLOORThough there is no true pro-gram on the final story, thislevel allows the inhabitantan aerial view of surround-ing Merida. Being the tall-est building in the immediatearea the views provided areunique. This story also pro-vides the opportunity to reflectand see the gallery from theopposite point of view fromwhen entering the building.Looking down to the storiesbelow glimpses of the spaces onthe lower levels are framed.
  64. 64. CITY GALLERY

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