With a collection of great quality and richness, the Museum of Popular Art offers a panorama of the multiple expressions of Mexican popular art, as well as the creativity, artistic sensibility and magisterial craft of artisans. Works are displayed in a thematic-conceptual ordering, in four main groups: “Essence”, “Everyday Life”, “The Sacred” and “The Fantastic”, displayed in such a way that visitors can appreciate their sculptural and expressive qualities. The exhibits are complemented by videos and interactive modules integrated into visitors’ routes through the exhibition in a discrete way so as not to interfere with the displays, but offer pointed information about the contexts and associated traditions.
The museum building, built in 1929 in Art Decó style as the seat for the Police and Firefighters of Mexico City, has four stories with many rectangular areas, and an ample central patio. On the lower floor the visitor services are housed. The first floor also has space for temporary exhibitions and educational workshops, while the second and third floors present the permanent exhibitions. The museum design project encompasses the architectural adaptation of the top three floors, in which, to organize the circulation and link the two halls of each floor, one to each side of the patio, the floors and ceilings of the main corridors were differentiated from the halls and extended towards the interiors, forming the main circulation galleries, the “avenues”, that cross the building sideways from one end to the other, and lead to the stairs and lifts, where the visitor routes begin and end.
The design integrates the exhibition structures and the architectural adaptations of the halls in an exhibition architecture that delineates and articulates the different units of the exhibition. The third floor hall dedicated to “Daily Life” is organized around two large inclined glass cylinders, crowned by holes which introduce natural light; one of the cylinders is elongated and leads to the hall below, “The Sacred”, which in turn establishes a point of spatial union between them.
Location: Police and Firefighter Station of Mexico City, Historical Center, Mexico City
Client: Association of Friends of the Popular Art Museum, A.C.
Project Scope: Architectural adaptation of the exhibition spaces, exhibition design project and realization.
Exhibition area: 3,400 m2
Project director: Jorge Agostoni.
Collaborators: Mara Vázquez Moreno, Vicente RomeroRubí, Margarita Zavala Yáñez, Marina Díaz Herrero, Julio Bautista Rojas, Silvana Agostoni.
Building architect: Vicente Mendiola, 1929.
Adaptation architect: Teodoro González de León.