The Nomadic Museum
NEXT: BRAZIL 2009
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Building names(s): The Nomadic Museum
Architect/Designer: Shigeru Ban
NEXT LOCATION: BRAZIL 2009
The Nomadic Museum is a temporary structure used to house the Ashes and Snow photography and film exhibition by Gregory Colbert. The first Nomadic Museum, designed by Japanese architect Shigeru Ban and engineers Buro Happold, debuted with the opening of Ashes and Snow in New York City in March 2005. The museum then traveled to Santa Monica, California, in 2006, Tokyo in 2007, and Mexico City in 2008. Like all elements of Ashes and Snow, the Nomadic Museum will be redesigned and adapted to each new location.
Originally made of shipping containers, the architectural design evolves as it travels. The most recent Nomadic Museum, in the Zócalo, Mexico City was the largest bamboo structure ever created. Designed by Simón Vélez in collaboration with Colbert, the structure occupied 5,130-square meters (55,218 square feet) containing two galleries and three distinct theaters. For the first time, the Nomadic Museum incorporated water as a design element to recall the unique history of Mexico City, which was once surrounded by canals. This architectural choice honored the symbolic significance of the Zócalo as the center of Mexico-Tenochtitlan, a city founded by the Aztecs on a small island in the middle of Lake Texcoco in 1325.