APR Cultural

Second Award – Automobile Museum in Andorra by MESURA

Global Future Design Awards 2019
Second Award
Category: Cultural
Architect: Benjamin or Terradas arquitectos
Team: Benjamin Iborra Wicksteed, Marcos Parera Blanch, Jordi Espinet Roma, Jaime Font Furest, Carlos Dimas Carmona
Country: Spain

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The engine of change; a change of engine.

The history of Andorra has been marked by the car. The progressive introduction of this means of transport supposes the rupture of the isolation and the connection, to all effects of Andorra with its two neighboring countries, and with the future.

With the maturity of this transport, the vehicle is no longer a transformer because it is a restriction component for pedestrian freedom. Encamp has led a strategy, modern, sustainable and more human return of spaces to the citizen with the remodeling of Avenue François Mitterrand.

An ambitious but incomplete project, which requires a new piece, Key to give final meaning to the new transformation: The new MNAA.

The museum culminates a vision about the future of Encamp. Aligned to give priority to people, the museum, container of the legacy of the car and celebration of its historical importance, becomes the true new engine.

The museum, read as a piece and beyond the important urban considerations that motivated the proposal, has the desire to combine two very clear attitudes.

On the one hand, it is not a series of slabs that are placed on the site. On the contrary, the exhibition space can be understood as a new topography linked to the terrain. A solution that is closely linked to the desired exhibition experience but also a way of visualizing the link and contribution that the automobile has had in the transformation of the territory. During history and now, in the formalization of the museum.

On the other hand, and once the enormous value of the car is celebrated, the large deck space works as an urban space, reinforcing the idea of ​​returning and compensating for the spaces that are wrong for the car. A sort of justice.

Finally, the emerging body becomes the new symbol of change clearly. Where was the car, now is the MNAA who assumes the role of transforming engine of Encamp. A new cultural reference, a window to the past and especially to the future.

A symbol for Encamp.

The object of the Museum transcends the opportunity to celebrate the history of the automobile in the country. It goes beyond the need to create a forum for reflection on the past and future role of the car. It is even an ambition higher than the value of the (exceptional) collection.

The first objective of an equipment is to create territory. Like the car in its historical moment, the museum itself is responsible for the new change in Encamp.

The new National Museum of the Automobile of Andorra has the will to contribute in the general and urban strategy of Encamp reinforcing, first, the idea of ​​providing urban spaces of a new quality, where the avenues are kidnapped and stop giving priority to speed. And second, the necessary connection between the Comarcal d’Encamp and La Rosaleda – Ministry of Culture of Government creating a new public-cultural pole.

The Museum is then placed at the end of Avenida François Mitterrand and seeks, with its formalization, to establish a dialogue between the two buildings and reinforce, even, the national identity of the place.

It might seem obvious that MNAA is the protagonist in the mentioned transforming role. It is but true that the real importance lies in the emptiness and its relation to the plenary. The successful strategy of Encamp to prioritize people and the public space is to resume the same blurred system of the street to understand that we do not have vials and squares, but free spaces, dimensioned by people.

The project starts with a sequence: first, the necessary location of the apparent volume of the MNAA as a link between the two existing buildings. Second, the recognition of the excess of the space adjacent to the Common and the need for two new ones (smaller ones) that relate the three constructed pieces.

Finally, we continue with the same strategy of considering free spaces not as streets and squares but as fluid elements, such as dilations and contractions that are provided to serve people.

A rooted story

The museum does not intend to have an integrating attitude: it is a part, it is part of Encamp!

The design of the museum is carried out through a new topography. The new ground ‘receives’ the collection and reinforces the idea of ​​a link between the urban and national evolution of Andorra and the car.

On the other hand, the large cover (of modern design, as if it were an element of machinery) was a lamp that illuminates elegantly and uniformly each of the pieces in the collection.

The opening of the two skylights / patios is not only the obvious answer to the desire to enter natural light; It is also the way of responding to the need to create a square (in fact two) higher bounded and more human scale.

Finally, the visible part of the museum is visualized as an emerging element that contributes to creating the third piece that ends the avenue and symbolizes this new cultural center of Encamp. This new lighthouse is not limited to marking the entrance to the museum but must allow the public space to become a benchmark in the motor sector, thus attracting all kinds of groups to concentrate on it.