The Museu de Arte de São Paulo, Brazil’s preeminent modern and contemporary art museum, is set to grow, with an expansion that is likely to further cement its reputation as one of the most important art institutions in Latin America or anywhere in the world. Slated to open in January 2024, the new space will add nearly 75,000 square feet to the museum.
The addition will take the form of a new 14-story structure separate from the museum’s famed two-story building, which was designed by pioneering Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi in 1968. The new facility, named after her husband Pietro Maria Bardi, who cofounded the museum, will be connected to MASP’s current edifice by an underground tunnel.
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Included in the expansion are an additional 28,000 square feet of exhibition space spread across five floors, growing the museum’s galleries by 66 percent. The increase is intended to allow MASP to present more of its collection, which includes important works of 17th-, 18th-, and 19th-century European art in addition to modern and contemporary holdings. Currently, the museum can display only 1 percent of the work it owns. Also being added to the museum are a restaurant, a ticketing office, a shop, classrooms, and a restoration lab.
Expected to cost 180 million Brazilian real ($33.3 million), the expansion was first conceived by Júlio Neves, who directed MASP from 1994 to 2009, and it will now be brought to fruition by the São Paulo–based firm Metro Arquitetos Associados.
Part of MASP’s goal with its expansion is to “seek sustainable solutions in order to reduce [its] carbon footprint,” the museum said. The new building will have a double facade that is meant to “decrease the thermal load,” enabling MASP to conserve energy and defraying costs associated with ventilation and air conditioning.
Calling the addition the “greatest process of physical expansion in its history,” Alfredo Setubal, chairman of MASP’s board, said in a statement, “This is very relevant to the culture of São Paulo.”