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Seeing History

Authors: arh. Sorin Istudor, arh. Kalliopi Dimou, arh. Ștefan Păvăluță
skaarchitects

Beneficiar: MNAC

Authors’ Comment

Artworks selected from the second half of the XX century, a long and problematic period for the romanian arts and society, must be exhibited in the spaces of the first floor of MNAC, a rigid place with a strong history. The two big galleries are overwhelming the artworks, the exhibition route is perimetral and feels agoraphobic. For showing the exhibition we need a new ‘parcours’, more flexible, freer and better connected in order to create a visual dialog between the different periods and artworks, a contemporary reading of history. We want to change the proportion of space and bring the artworks and the visitor to the center. Opening the central wall between the two galleries creates a new direct spatial and visual link, unifying the space and moving the parcours to the center. The proposed connection is left unfinished concrete floor & structural pillars and the gipsum board-wall grid. In the first gallery the artworks are shown on a system of freestanding walls, starting from the existing stair, that they reshape the space, creating new limits and a new dynamic between the center and the edges. The stairs half-landing thus enlarged, creating a new viewing platform that puts the visitor in the center, proposing a different relation with the space and the artworks. The perimetral walls are used to display a continuous timeline with archival facts about the periods history, the key for reading the exhibition, visible from all over the gallery. In the second gallery we extended the lateral wlls up to the ceiling, creating a central tall space for showing big artworks and a number of smaller galleries on both levels for showing different series and specific periods or clusters of works. The new spatial system and the new route we proposed develops multiple readings for the visitors and flexibility of display for the curators of the museum.