Construction is scheduled to begin on a massive expansion of the Museum of Modern Art of Medellin (MAMM) this April, adding much needed gallery space and increasing potential for community enrichment.
“The MAMM is more than a museum … it’s a cultural nexus,” Maria Mercedes Gonzalez, the museum’s director, told Colombia Reports.
After winning an international design contest, the Peruvian architecture firm, 51-1, partnered with a Colombian firm, Ctrl G, to design the building.
The additions include two new galleries for the permanent collection, a 250-person auditorium, several meeting and workshop rooms, a parking garage, and a restaurant on the top floor.
The MAMM is an integral part of one of Medellin’s biggest urban renewal projects, Ciudad del Rio, which includes a new hotel, upscale apartment buildings, a park, many restaurants and more. Also on the docket is a project to house the Medellin Philharmonic, ballet productions and a music school on a piece of land adjacent to the museum.
“At the moment our entire permanent collection is in storage,” Gonzalez said. The MAMM currently has space for just two temporary exhibitions.
Half of the $13 million project’s funding comes from the city of Medellin, the other half from private investors. Construction will last two to four years, according to Gonzalez.
“There’s really only two museums in Medellin, which places a huge responsibility on the MAMM. We show modern, sometimes experimental, works; art that provides knowledge and inspiration and opens minds,” Gonzalez said.
In 2009 the MAMM moved from its former location in the Carlos E. Restrepo park, which some consider to be at the heart of the artistic and intellectual community of Medellin, to Ciudad del Rio. The move was motivated in part by an effort to become more accessible to the public.
They took the opportunity to reinvent themselves. This next step, they hope, will augment the MAMM’s capacity to enrich the lives of Medellin residents.
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- Interview with Maria Mercedes Gonzalez