The Maxita Yano – Claudia Andujar Gallery, part of Inhotim Contemporary Art Museum, was designed to shelter the works of the swiss-born Brazilian photographer Claudia Andujar. The building is located on a densely wooded slope, accessed by trails amongst the vegetation. The topography defines a small promontory that reveals the surrounding landscape. This location informed the design strategy concerning its placement: the higher portion of the site was redesigned to receive the embedded volume, granting it an unobtrusive aspect. Contrarily, the rest of the building was divided in three blocks projecting over the slope, each one oriented toward different sight of the woods.
The distinction between an embedded portion and three overhanging volumes pursues a subtle balance between the necessary discretion of the built volume and the presence of remarkable features that pinpoint the gallery on the site. The gallery spaces are organised in a single level of exhibition rooms, which were arranged on a sequence defined by strict collaboration with the curators on Inhotim. The exhibition area is divided in three main groups by transitional spaces that mediate nature and artwork. The diversity of the exhibition areas is guaranteed by interchanging introspection and openness to the site; in such way that sights to the woods and the internal patio, vast and intimate rooms, natural and artificial lighting take turns. The investigation of textures is reflected on the narrow material palette and the handmade bricks on the external surfaces, resounding the shades of density and different qualities of the sunlight filtered through the foliage.
The gallery was christened ‘Maxita Yano’ – meaning ‘clay house’ in Yanomami language - by the native americans that attended the opening ceremony. It proposes, accordingly through its materiality, the nature of its spaces and lighting, a widened perception of potential relationships among architecture, nature and landscape.
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