Museum of Architecture, an expression of technology and its time

25 Sep 2017

The new MARQ pavilion in Buenos Aires, inaugurated a year ago, was built by using Steel Framing, one of the most efficient systems nowadays. The building shows the potential of creating in steel.

The Museum of Architecture and Design (MARQ) is located in a former water tower of Retiro railway complex. The brick construction with arches and cornices accounts for English tradition in the infrastructure design from the early XIX century. Similarly, the pavilion that enlarges the capacity of the museum reflects the architecture and technology of its time: dry construction.

In 2013, the Central Association of Architects organized a contest of projects for the design of the new pavilion. The competition counted on Ternium’s sponsorship and, under the motto “creating in steel,” 80 projects were presented; all of them developed with Steel Framing, a cutting-edge dry building system.

The proposal by architect Marcos Polchowski won the first award. On the whole, it involves a rectangular prism with walls set by movable steel sun shields which provide transparency or opacity according to its location. The building houses an exhibition and multi-purpose room, rest rooms, cafeteria and warehouses, which materialized in a quick and clean work.

The first anniversary of this space (October 4th) coincides with an exhibition by two leading figures of Argentine architecture: Mario Roberto Alvarez and Clorindo Testa.

“Steel Framing has a very high potential, especially in small and medium-scale works. It is a more advanced project and, in works like MARQ, its benefits are highlighted,” states Polchowski.

“The possibility of taking part in a project like this provides an opportunity to show all the possibilities the system has in terms of its versatility, energy efficiency, execution speed and sustainability,” notes Silvano Canton, Marketing Manager of AD Barbieri SA, company that was part of the project.

Only the foundation beams were built with reinforced concrete, that is, wet work. Floor, roof and walls were materialized with steel profiles and dry finish. “Before starting the contest, I did some research on the system in order to solve the problem technically. It was only necessary to recalculate the section of some profiles,” explains Polchowski.

The new pavilion with straight lines, defined angles and dark metal polished surfaces is “a respectful contrast to the porous profusion of cornices, pillars and old red bricks, and the leafy green park,” according to the author’s definition.

That way, new and old converse respectfully in the small triangular-shaped area of Libertador avenue and Callao.