The Art Museum of Rio required an extension to the existing three buildings that made up the museum. Jacobsen Arquitetura (previously Bernardes & Jacobsen Arquitetura) designed the renovations that were completed in 2013.
Uniting the three very different buildings presented an architectural challenge. The buildings that formed part of the existing complex include the Palacete Dom João, the police building and the old central bus station of Rio - which all form part of the major urban redevelopment connecting the historic downtown sector of Rio de Janeiro. Each section required different levels of preservation.
In order to establish flow within the buildings, a suspended square on the rooftop of the police building was proposed - this united all the access points and created a space for cultural and leisure events. It also simultaneously means users visit from top to bottom.
Due to the large ceiling height of the palace, it was selected as the exhibition space for the museum. The police building was repurposed as a school with auditoriums, multimedia exhibition areas and the necessary administration areas.
The leftover space between the two buildings is formed into access points and creates a vast open space. To physically connect the two buildings, allowing visitor circulation, a suspended walkway spans between the two buildings.
A fluid, overarching canopy distinctly covers the two existing buildings. The light structure simulates a wave effect. The feature canopy can be seen at a distance and creates the final uniting architectural piece to the complex.