The museum’s project aims at praising the notion of virtue as conformed in the “outreach for the heavens”, ritualistically distributed around the heritage sites. It starts in the way of the first pilgrim who set the modest cross on the top of the hill, in gratitude for the graces won. From him came the abandonment of fortune and absolute dedication to his devotion. The mission of the devotee lasted for decades until completion of the sets that represent The Passion of the Christ.
The museum is dedicated to making clear mediation regarding the eloquent heritage built through time and by time. Being like this, it tries to establish a bond with the symbolic grounds started in the 18th century. Concerned with the conservation of the existing hierarchy, the consistency and solidity of the historical and art collection, the museum was put together to reaffirm and assure such representations. Through its programming and the plastic and organizational solutions, it intends to guard the affinities between past and present. Inspired by The Passion, the shapes mold to the ground, expressing a “divine connection”, a “téléia philia” (as put by Aristóteles) between material and immaterial heritages. The aura of the symbolism in the sacred and consecrated sets has its potentials established in the space that praises, collects, saves and prepares the generations to come – the museum.
The architectural complex of the Bom Jesus de Matosinhos Shrine, “the soapstone Bible”, according to poet Oswald de Andrade, invited us in our proposal to come up with the solutions to three fundamental questions:
? Neutral deployment, with no volumetric competition with the main set;
? The external spaces and the internal ways are clear, ample and reverent.
The dynamics of the spaces echoes a symbolic dimension of the values it shelters, and shows them to the visitors.
? The notion of contemporaneity states, at its time, the timeless stance of respect, balance and harmony.
The building is configured into three distinct, yet connected, functional areas: – Visitors’ admission and the Pilgrims’ Building at entrance level;
On the two floors adjacent to the area around the Colonial Hotel: – the museum area, with the Prophets’ Rooms and The Passion Rooms. – center for studies and researches, and the administration
The distribution of functions starts on the big access terrace in two ways: the entrance one, mineral, simple, straight up and efficient, a place for people and circulation; and another for contemplation, with gardens and a reflecting pool that mirrors the sky and the horizon.
The admission building was conceived under a horizontally-positioned metal sheet, light and afloat, in a way not to compete with the Shrine’s volumes. Its top level won’t raise higher than the forecourt of the basilica, looking up with respect to the landscaping and the artistic interventions by keeping their original characteristics. This building is there for the pilgrims, who constitute the reason and cornerstone of the Shrine itself.
Project name: Congonhas Museum
Architecture: Gustavo Penna, Norberto Bambozzi, Laura Penna, Laura Caram, Juliana Couri, Letícia Carneiro
Location: Congonhas – Minas Gerais – Brasil
Year designed: 2005
Projected area: 90.000m2
Museum Consultants: Expomus – Maria Ignez Mantovani
Audiovisual Resources: Preto e Branco – Luiz de Franco Neto
Description of the Inventation: Celina Borges
Graphical Programming: Greco Design
Eletronic Mockup: Mídia.com
Physical Mockup: Hélio José Maciel