Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation

The designer can create small valuable elements within a much larger composition that can affect the quality of a much larger space. Within the hot climate of Mallorca, Rafael Moneo has used the natural qualities of light and water to create an atmosphere of coolness and character.moneo.jpgThe architect delicately placed the foundation building between the almond grove that spreads out over the slope below the building and the artist’s studio, which occupied the space immediately next to the road. The building is composed of a star-like volume to hold the collection and a linear element, which contains the service areas, the entrance and the schoolrooms. There is a very tense relationship between these two contrasting elements. The long thin building is placed on slightly higher ground than the splintered building; stairs within the foyer offer access to the lower gallery areas. This slight disconnection is emphasised by the pools of water, one of which is actually placed upon the roof of the lower building. The landscaping also reinforces this difference, the upper level is organised in an orthogonal manner, while the lower gardens are as dynamic as the star-like building. The upper rectangular building has integrated into it, a south-facing colonnade and from here the visitor has a magnificent view over the top of the gallery, across the island to the sea. This arcade also acts to help cool the building. This slender out-side space shades the enclosed rooms, therefore reducing solar gain. The narrow shape encourages air movement, thus creating a slight wind, which again aids cooling. This is supported by the louvers within the top half of the façade, they also stimulate air movement by encouraging the hot air to speed up as it rises through them. The pool of water directly below this area provides cooler air to replace this, and thus a small isolated stack effect is created. The movement of the water enhances the quality of the atmosphere, as it ripples, it is reflected onto the underside of the colonnade and into the interior space. A small detail that creates a beautiful and effective environment.Name: Pilar and Joan Miró FoundationLocation: Palma de MallorcaDate: 1993Designer: Rafael Moneo

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1 Response to Pilar and Joan Miró Foundation

  1. Hi Sally,

    I agree with you that Moneo has utilized both the aesthetic and design elements for cooling of the office well.

    What I love about this particular design is that the water creates a calm and reflective mood allowing users to “relax” from work but is also practical.

    Have you seen his “Cathedral of our lady of the angels”? The way he incorporates water features into the design there too is amazing.

    Best regards
    Chris Hemmington

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