Day 186/365 of Steel – Fernando Romero

Fernando Romero Havaux is a Mexican architect. In 1995, following graduation, Romero joined the office of Rem Koolhaas, Office for Metropolitan Architecture (OMA), In 1999, Romero served as the project leader who won the entry for Casa da Música in Porto, Portugal.

Museo Soumaya

Soumaya Museum in Mexico City
Fig 1: Soumaya Museum in Mexico City
Photo: © Rafael Gamo

The Museo Soumaya is a private museum in Mexico City and a non-profit cultural institution with two museum buildings in Mexico City — Plaza Carso and Plaza Loreto. The museum is named after Soumaya Domit, who died in 1999, and was the wife of the founder of the museum, Carlos Slim.  

The Soumaya Museum Facade
Fig 2: The Soumaya Museum Facade
Photo: © Adam Weisman

It has over 66,000 works from 30 centuries of art including sculptures from Pre-Hispanic Mesoamerica, 19th- and 20th-century Mexican art and an extensive repertoire of works by European old masters and masters of modern western art such as Auguste Rodin, Salvador Dalí, Bartolomé Esteban Murillo and Tintoretto. It is called one of the most complete collections of its kind.

Soumaya Museum During Construction
Fig 3: Soumaya Museum During Construction
Photo: Carlos Alcocer Sola

The building is a 46-metre-high six-story building covered by 16,000 hexagonal aluminum tiles. The new building was designed by Fernando Romero, who is married to a daughter of Carlos Slim, and engineered with Ove Arup and Frank Gehry.

Soumaya Museum Inside View
Fig 4: Soumaya Museum Inside View
Photo: © Adam Weisman

The museum has a narrow entrance that opens into a large white gallery. The top floor of the building is opened so that it is illuminated by sunlight during the daytime. In addition to the art galleries, the new building contains a library, restaurant, and a 350-seat auditorium.

Soumaya Museum Inside View
Fig 5: Soumaya Museum Inside View
Photo: © Adam Weisman

Each of the six floors of the museum is distinctly shaped. The weight of the building is held by an exoskeleton of 28 vertical curved steel columns and seven steel beams encircling the structure. 

About the Author:

Bruno Dursin – Managing Director at Believe in Steel. Bruno has more than 30 years of experience in promoting steel & steel solutions. His clients benefit from his extensive network within the building industry.

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