HMGB Architekten

Heike Matcha Günter Barczik

Modern Art Museum Sharjah

The Project consists of 2 major elements complementing one another:

A massive Roof provides Shade and climatic Comfort. It contains the Exhibition collection galleries, organized as overlapping corridors forming a structural lattice.

Underneath the roof we propose one large multifunctional space containing: temporary exhibition, foyer, café, shop, auditorium, seminars and also exhibition and workshops. Thus, the large space becomes a large public meeting space, a secular version of the multi­purpose space traditionally found in mosques. It is organized around three courtyards (containing reflecting pools), thereby bringing light into the deep space, ventilating it via wind chimney effects and establishing a relationship to the traditional building form of houses organized around courtyards.

The gallery lattice within the roof consists of linear, wide corridor-like spaces ideal for exhibiting the paintings that make up the most of the collection.

The separation into variously proportioned singular, albeit connected spatial parts makes it possible to concentrate on specific groups of artworks. Different atmospheres can exist next to one another without disturbing one another.

The gallery corridors are mostly introverted and allow visitors perfect concentration. Occasionally, windows open up towards the outside and towards interior courtyards, establishing visual connections to the buildings surroundings and to the main multipurpose space on the entrance level.

The building is constructed from carbonfibre-reinforced concrete, a material with high structural as well as thermal performance: the massive roof acts as a large thermal mass regulating the climate inside.

The gallery corridors in their trough shape form rigid beams connecting into a lattice that can rest on only four feet. Thus the multipurpose space on the ground floor can be largely column-free and is open to many different uses and programs. The four feet contain circulation and technical installation.

All exhibition spaces use natural daylight: the gallery corridors in the roof via small-scale louvres. The large multipurpose space is shaded via the gallery corridor lattice forming the roof.