|Client||La Ruta Maya Foundation|
|Location||Guatemala City, Guatemala|
The new Museo Maya de América will house one of the world’s most significant collections of objects, artifacts, artworks, textiles, and information on the history and culture of the Mayan civilization. The new museum building is formed by two primary elements: a fragmented plinth and a monolithic box above. The design’s materials and characteristics draw inspiration from the language of Mayan temple architecture, translated into a contemporary vocabulary. Organized for maximum public interaction with the site, the ground is given almost entirely to open space. Exhibition galleries reside within the floating box, while the roof is returned to the general public as an accessible civic space. The various floor levels are connected by stairs that climb their way around a central courtyard. This space evokes the cenote, a natural sinkhole characteristic of the Yucatan and held sacred by the Maya. The museum takes advantage of Guatemala’s temperate climate by naturally ventilating all but a small number of spaces. Galleries are wrapped by glass cases, so that items in storage become a part of the public display.
The design has been developed in collaboration with Harry Gugger Studios. Seis Arquitectos will serve as the architect of record. Museo Maya de América received the Boston Society of Architect’s 2013 Unbuilt Architecture Award.