The Ferreyra Palace has been converted into the Córdoba Province Museum of Fine Arts, to display a selection of the museum’s collection as a permanent exhibition. A change in the original character of a building, such as that confronted in this conversion, poses complex problems. The original cultural heritage value of the building was that of a family residence; not that of a public building intended to show and preserve a different kind of cultural heritage. A challenge had to be overcome so that both heritages could coexist without one overshadowing the other.
The renovation, designed by Malaga-based GGMPU Architects, has preserved the pre-eminent hierarchical condition of the main hall as well as its relationship with all the original public areas, while at the same time creating a new multi-level space that now allows the visual appraisal of all the building levels at the same time, thus revealing the unified character of the building as a whole. This space, that lies perpendicular to the main building axis, has been designed as an ambiguous realm, which maintains a certain neutrality in contrast with the main hall.
The original enclosure of the building and its fenestration is shown through a translucent tensile PVC sheet which becomes a new skin for the building, shifting its appearance according to the light, which can be either natural daylight, regular white artificial light, or colored RGB lighting intended to create different effects. The design for the opposite side, which interfaces with the original spaces, was solved with a continuous glass plane covered by a micro-perforated PVC membrane printed with a pixelated photo of the main hall which gives it an abstract texture; the same hall can be seen behind the glass through its ambiguous transparency. The planes contained within this space have been dematerialised by covering them with mirror-polished steel.
A new wooden stairway, painted black and covered in black leather, reaches the black ceiling which extends towards the public areas of the last floor. This dark space eases the transition into the exhibition rooms, which due to the fragility of the exhibited material must be kept under low lighting.
Project: Ferreyra Palace
Location: Córdoba Province Museum of Fine Arts, Córdoba, Argentina
Architects: GGMPU Architects, Malaga, Spain
Technical info: PVC, aluminium, glass
Picture credits: GGMPU Architects