To create an inviting entrance and improve the routing within the museum without demolishing or adjusting the historical main facade of the museum too much, we decided to move the main entrance to the currently enclosed garden at the side of the museum. From this new public space, the entrance, museum cafe and garden are all accessible and linked to eachother, inviting visitors to enjoy all 3 parts of the museum. The new staircase at the entrance leads to the exhibition spaces, that are organized in such a way that the visitor has an interesting continuous route through the museum, circling round the high central area of the museum.
This central area is transformed into a theatrical showroom with a parade of animals hanging from the ceiling. At the top of the room hangs a translucent box containing the laboratories, creating an attractive new workspace for the much needed scientists. Natural light falls between the outer wall of the room and labs down in the new exhibition space, making it an spectacular new centre point of the renewed museum.
International competition for the renovation and reorganization of a museum for Natural History
Funchal, Madeira – Portugal
Studio Dois in collaboration with Alvaro Novas – architecture
Studio Fraaj – graphic design
Esmee Buursink – advisor marketing and merchandising
Paulo Caiado – structural engIneer
Miguel Bettencourt – services