Museu de Arte de São Paulo

Featured Image Source: The Photographer, Under Creative Commons,

The Museu de Arte de São Paulo, also known as the MASP, is one of the main art museums of São Paulo. It sits in the Bela Vista neighbourhood across from the Jarbim Paulista. The museum stands on the Avenue Paulista one of the main roads that crosses the neighbourhood.

The museum was established in 1947 as a private non-profit museum by Assis Chateaubriand and Pietro Maria Bardi. Assis Chateaubriand was an entertainment mogul who amassed many artworks. He asked Pietro Maria Bardi, an expert in art, to help with the founding of the museum. He later became Co-founder and director of the museum. The museum is often regarded as the first modern Brazilian museum. The museum was opened as a place where all types of In 1968 a new building was built for the museum, designed by Lina Bo Bardi, who was Pietro Maria Bardi’s wife. It was an architectural feat and made the MASP one of the architectural monuments of São Paulo. Not only is the outside of the building a feat of architecture and especially engineering but so is the interior of the building. Lina Bo Bardi also designed a ‘crystal easels’ that meant that the artwork did not need to be hung on a wall. The artworks are hung up in a perspex frame that is held up by a concrete base. This means that the interior can remain free and open, helping to accentuate the size and openness of the building. The building uses red to accentuate many of the important features of the building, the two beams being the most obvious, but also stairs and doors are given the same bright colour.

The building is primarily constructed of concrete and glass but its most interesting feature is that the building is lifted off the ground. The building is held up by two giant bright red staples shaped concrete beams. The buildings 4 walls are all glass with two concrete slabs as the roof and the floor sandwiching the glass. The building is hung up about 8 meters of the ground. The area under the building is often used for markets, exhibitions and other cultural activities.

Source: Andredeak, Under Creative Commons,

The building is 74 x 34 meters and has two floors to display artwork. The entrance is on the South-East end of the building. Stairs and a lift leading up to the actual building. On the North-East side of the building, there is a large patio to create a large flat area around the museum. The museum is built on an incline and this area serves as an office for related activities.

Source: Benjamin Thompson, Under Creative Commons,

The building can be seen both as a modernist and brutalist building. The use of glass on all four falls from top too bottom give the building a very open character but the use of concrete and the clearness of the buildings structural features gives the building a brutalist outlook. It is the difference and tension between these two styles that makes the building such an interesting piece of architecture and gives it a very Brazillian style.

Sources: WikipediaArchdailyGoogle Arts & CultureArchitectuul

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