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Project: "nMAC"
Company:PLUS-SUM Studio
Designer(s): Design Director: Martin Summers | Project Designer: Bart Gillespie | Project Team: Raleigh Arrowood, Benjamin Kolder, United States
Category: Architecture Categories, Professional
User's Profile : User's Profile

Entry Description: Museums embody our greatest cultural and social aspirations via their mission to collect, disseminate, and inspire new ideas. A Museum of Contemporary Art assumes an elevated status within this milieu where it defines the edges of our cultural production and at it’s best, reflects the current and future states of our evolution. The institution operates within and in response to global forces that constantly fluctuate and challenge its very stability. These forces continuously reinvent context, meaning, funding, curation, and are addressed through adaptive/pro-active strategies. Museum design (physical, organizational, conceptual and institutional) must respond to these dynamic forces and embody our aspirations while shaping and evolving culture. The Nuevo Museo de Arte Contemporáneo site is located along the Avenida de Mayo axis that runs East to West through the heart of Buenos Aires. The design links and re-enforces local connections and strengthens the relationship of art to heritage. It provides a new and adaptable public event space to attract visitors, while stitching the civic space through the new museum program. The project aspires to enmesh the new functions within the city fabric while engaging visitors to explore and discover the many layers of culture within Buenos Aires, a city appointed by UNESCO as a “City of Design.” The design strategy uses a systemic logic to develop a dual museum; one (introspective, slow to adapt) housing the museum proper and the other (fast and nimble) erodes the edges of the institution conceptually and formally, producing a second, ticketless museum where the city’s culture is in constant formation. This dichotomy captures new curatorial opportunities along with alternative programming. They are one synthetic whole while also distinct and autonomous; sharing a progressive lean toward the future. The eroded spaces allow for after hours programming and alternate funding strategies that sustainably strengthen the institution.

About the Designer/Company
Mr. Summers founded PLUS-SUM Studio in September 2012, to pursue projects aligned with his own vision of collaborative practice. He has 19 years experience in a variety of project types and scales, from small interior renovations to large-scale master planning. His first project for PLUS-SUM Studio was recognized the following year (2013) by the National AIA and displayed in Washington, D.C. as part of the Emerging Professionals Exhibition. In November 2014, the competition entry for the Louisville Children’s Museum "Grey Matter" was exhibited in the Korea Institute for Youth Facility and Environment (KIYFE) exhibit in Munjeong Samsung Raemian Gallery in Seoul, Korea. PLUS-SUM uses an intensive, iterative, problem seeking design process to discover opportunities latent within a given problem and to evolve multiple, possible solutions. This process seamlessly moves from design practice to an academic context to test opportunities within each realm and progress both forward. Mr. Summers is an Assistant Professor of Architecture at the University of Kentucky College of Design; where he leads advanced studios focused on urban design, iterative digital processes, and teaches electives in High Performance Building Envelopes and Design/Theory. He is committed to education and to pursuing conditions that allow for an open and engaging dialogue around contemporary practice and processes. Previously Mr. Summers spent 10 years at Morphosis Architects in Santa Monica, where he served as project designer on projects across all scales and rose to lead the office’s façade design and construction. Prior to working at Morphosis, Mr. Summers participated in a diverse range of projects from residential and worship spaces to sound stages for clients such as Warner Bros., Sony, and DreamWorks SKG. He received his Masters of Architecture degree from UCLA, and his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Kentucky College of Architecture, now the College of Design.