Pitcrit – Beyond the Pile


Beyond the Pile

Ian Christopher Thomas (website)
Design Studio
Faculty: Georgina Huljich (website)


An expansion to the 21c Museum in Rosario, Argentina, including new galleries, hotel rooms, and an auditorium.

This topic studio investigated the formal and spatial effects of inconsistent and uneven massings found in globular clusters and mineral formations. Instead of relying on self-similarity, the project intends to foreground heterogeneity and richer, more complex readings of surface and mass.

Beginning with research in geodes, precarious boulders, and Alain Delorme’s series of “Contemporary Totems,” the design proposes a new, highly undercut mass along the axis of the waterfront promenade, perpendicular to the converted grain silos which currently house the museum. A family of polyhedral primitives aggregates, clusters, and intersects with the grain silos to create open interior galleries, special exhibition spaces, and an auditorium, while the silos are retrofitted for new hotel programs. Oblique apertures in both volumes create variable interior/exterior relationships that promote the reading of larger volumes, rather than individual components; color and texture are similarly deployed to articulate the intermediate scale between single faces and larger volumes that they define. The compositional contrast between the new, faceted pile and the existing cylindrical grain silos creates a heterogenous whole, with multiplicities of readings across scales

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