Museu de Arte do Rio

Rio de Janeiro, Brasil


Dimensioning of the fluid roof and connecting walkway between two existing buildings that have been rehabilitated to house the Rio de Janeiro Museum of Art. The project was carried out in collaboration with the Rio de Janeiro architectural firm Bernardes e Jacobson. The fluid roof of the Rio Art Museum arose from the need to visually unite two buildings with different architectural characteristics and eras, one of them modernist and the other a palace.
This symbolic union was intended to transform the two independent buildings into a single cultural complex.
The function of the roof is to protect both the access to the museum from the ground floor and the suspended square created at the top of the modernist building, from where the route to visit the museum begins and which also constitutes a space for contemplating the landscape of the city of Rio de Janeiro.

The exposed reinforced concrete roof structure spans the two buildings, forms 6 metre cantilevered eaves, is 65 metres long by 25 metres wide, has a generic thickness of 15 centimetres and is supported by 16 centimetre diameter steel pillars.
The water drains through the lowest points of the slab, via the pillars.
The formwork for this large slab was based on a topographical drawing with contour lines, plotted in real size and opened up in a samba school pavilion. Using the ground plan and sectional drawings of this roof, expanded polystyrene blocks were produced and then coated with resin and fibreglass.
These blocks were supported on the roofs of the two buildings using scaffolding and then re-coated on site to seal the seams.
The reinforcement is made of galvanised steel and the concrete was subjected to a particular study of its composition, with very rapid curing and controlled fluidity.
Concreting was carried out over a period of 13 uninterrupted hours by a team of 20 people.

The design and execution of the roof was only possible thanks to advanced computer programs, as the design was based on a 3d animation of a liquid surface, which had to be adjusted to allow water to flow into the drains that were to be inserted in the pillars and also to model thicker areas of the slab where necessary to guarantee shear strength.

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Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Client: Prefeitura do Rio
Year: 2013