MUSAC delineates a stage for art with the same optimistic attitude used by the Roman surveyors to sketch their cities in the landscape. In contrast to other types of museums, which focus on the exhibition of frozen historic collections, MUSAC is a living space that opens its doors to the wide-ranging manifestations of contemporary art. This is an art centre that constructs a set of chessboards on which the action becomes the protagonist of the space; a structure that develops from an open system, formed by a fabric of squares and rhombi, allowing the construction of a secret geography of memory.
MUSAC is a new space for culture, regarded as something that makes visible the connections between man and nature. A cluster of chained but independent rooms that permit exhibitions of differing sizes and types. Each of the jaggedly shaped rooms constructs a continuous yet spatially differentiated area that opens onto the other rooms and courtyards, providing longitudinal, transversal and diagonal views. Five hundred prefab beams enclose a series of spaces that feature systematic repetition and formal expressiveness.
Outside, the public space takes on a concave shape to hold the activities and meetings, embraced by large coloured glass in homage to the city as the place for interpersonal relationships. Inside, a large area of continuous, diverse spaces, spattered with courtyards and large skylights, defines an expressive system that speaks to us of the interest shared by architecture and art: the contemporary manifestation of the variable and the perennial, of equality and difference, of universality and transience, an echo of our own diversity and equality as people.Proportionally to its size, that of a single storey building with white concrete walls and large coloured glazing, MUSAC strives to be a space where art is at ease and helps to erase the boundaries between private and public, between work and leisure and ultimately, between art and life.
TECHNICAL DATA. Location: Avenida de los Reyes Leoneses, León, Spain. Architects: Luis M. Mansilla and Emilio Tuñón. Client: Gesturcal S.A., Regional Government of Castilla y León. Collaborators: Andrés Regueiro, Luis Díaz-Mauriño, Ainoa Prats, Jaime Gimeno, Matilde Peralta, Clara Moneo, Teresa Cruz, Oscar F. Aguayo, Gregory Peñate, Katrien Vertenten and Ricardo Lorenzana. Structural engineers: Alfonso Gómez Gaite. Mechanical engineers: J.G. Asociados. Construction manager: Luis M. Mansilla, Emilio Tuñón and Andrés Regueiro. Quantity Surveyor/Technical Architect: Arcadio Conde, Santiago Hernán and Juan Carlos Corona. Design project: 2001. Work completion: 2004. Built area: 10.000 m². General contractor: Musac de León UTE (FCC/Teconsa). Photographer: Luis Asín.