An architectural icon of technical and construction quality
Designed by architects Emilio Muñón and Luis Moreno Mansilla, the Contemporary Art Museum is located in a residential area west of the city of León. In recent years it has consolidated a place as one of Spain's main centres of art.
The geometry of the floor plan is one of the foremost peculiarities of the museum. It is a complex geometrical scheme inherited from that of certain pavements of Roman origin that use two polygons (a square and a rhombus) to deploy a continuous regular or irregular surface over a plane.
The nudity of white concrete holds centre stage inside, where the galleries abut one another unseparated by hallways or areaways, thus enabling shows of different sizes and types to be put on exhibit. Each hall constructs a continuous but differentiated space, which opens onto the other halls and courtyards, giving tempting views lengthwise, crosswise and diagonally. Intimate spaces of variable shapes and sizes stand open to the sky, collecting natural light and passing it on to the exhibit rooms.
The sense of motion of the building's ground plan contrasts with the subtlety of the museum's façade, which is made up of over 3,351 pieces of glass (2,719 of which are translucent) held in place by 500 iron beams.
The 37-colour glass mosaic that greets visitors on the main façade was taken from a digital image of a stained-glass window at León Cathedral called "El Halconero" (the Falconer).
In April 2007 MUSAC was distinguished with the Mies van de Rohe Award for Contemporary Architecture due to its conceptual, technical and construction quality. This biennial prize is given by the European Union and the Mies van der Rohe Foundation of Barcelona, and its primary purpose is to recognise and recompense the quality of architectural production in Europe.
360º Virtual visit (Use the mouse to rotate the image around 360º)