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The Volcano as Museum

The Volcano as Museum
Michael Labory and Bertrand Shippan

Some may not believe that a volcano serves as a fitting cultural centerpiece for one of the world’s major cities, but this didn’t stop French architect Michael Labory from trying to make it work. His proposal for the Buenos Aires Contemporary Art Museum calls for a giant earthy mass lifting up out of the night, lit from within by the orangey glow of primordial fire.

The museum is to be built primarily out of granite, meant to recall the sturdiness of Aconcagua, the highest peak of the Andes which sits on the border divided between Argentina and Chile. The rectangular rocky mass is then carved out by a form derived from the shape of the Fragata Sarmiento, an Argentine tall ship/museum currently anchored at the site. The ship itself is to become the centerpiece of the museum after being lifted out of the water and replaced by a floating platform set to house public events.


 

It is unclear, however, what materiality the renderings of the interior of the museum are supposed to represent. They seem to be composed of orange plexiglass, or perhaps some material from the sands of Arrakis. Whatever it is, it seems not to be constructible, which is fine, perhaps.

Indeed, the quality of the representation for this proposal allows the architect to get away with a lot; the possibility of its existence is fabulous to contemplate so there is little incentive to consider how that might be brought about. And so it will remain: a project of dreams, or maybe nightmares.











Images: Michael Labory and Bertrand Shippan

This post originally appeared on Architizer, at Atlantic partner site.

A.J. Artemel is a second-year student at Yale School of Architecture. He holds a BS Arch and a Minor in Urban and Environmental Planning from the University of Virginia. All posts »

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