date: 2021
category: Public competition
function: Public Museum and urban space
role: Design, Architecture, PM
group: Nir Sivan Architects and JLM, see credits below

The new Museum placed in the Culture space at Praça XV next to Porto Maravilha is planned with 3,000 square meters elliptic volume with wood structure and advanced ETFE air cushions forming a building nominated “Vela” that “floats” on an underground museum and with 250 meter freeform Wave Canopies made of wood placed on the mid-18th-century concrete and stone pier next to it.
At night the project is illuminated with colored LED light inside the Cushions as well as under the long Wave Canopy to form a special atmosphere, vitalizing the entire area along the important seaside of the city while engaging social integration and commercial activities 24/7.

The intervention was designed as a “gift” for the citizens of the city and include 10,000 square meters of new public space with a more open view of the sea. A specific area called “Fishermen deck” at the lower north area will be a place for gathering and fishing activity, having bar service. Furthermore, the project provides wide greenery seating places around the building having a few installations in the spirit of the Maritim atmosphere. Another public attraction area will be upon the Old pier where a walkthrough under the Wave canopy will guide persons to visit the new “Monument for peace” designed by architect Nir Sivan, place at its end. The project also includes a panoramic restaurant and its rooftop placed on a circular Lamella suspended from the elliptic Vela building, all these attractions are accessible even before visiting the actual museum.
The project offers 6,500 sqm of different museum experiences Organized inside the Vela building in 2 main exhibition floors, the first one is placed underwater level and offers visitors a view of the Submarine from underwater as well as many “underwater” Marine equipment understanding the actual experience of the “silence world”. The second museum floor is on the ground level where ancient items like the Galeota de D. João VI ship can be seen and other multi senses activities can be enjoyed. Large Marine items are placed on and at the sides of the pier and can be visited following the path of the external Wave canopy that offers shelter from the sun and a comfortable atmosphere having water features.
Complimentary activities to the complex are modular Auditorium rooms, Educative Study area, Book shop all accessible and operable separately within the Vela complex.
The project provide also new urban development offered by the 2 small touristic boarding decks offering a connection to Ilha de Paquetá and Niterói, as well as new VLT public transportation stop next to the complex.
Sustainability and LEED planning.
A key feature for the architecture composition was an overall vision of the building life cycle. From material movement consumption of energy, and the creation of new habitats for animals in the bay. In fact, one of the first decisions was the placement of the building in an area previously occupied by seawater so less than 50% of excavation works and soil movement will be needed while trash from demolished buildings will be placed under new building forming its platform rather than be moved around the city center to demolish material centers. Compensating any lateral damage, we predicted new fish habitat under the pier and at the lower part of the new building.
Energy consumption was calculated first while positioning about 60% of the functions that do not need daylight underground providing them with double roof cover and composing and orienting the Vela building to have minimal sun exposure. Further steps were taking calculating the exact level of transparency and insulation needed from every external material of the envelope.
At the main museum entrance point, post on the lower floor, we choose to restore the 18th-century pier foundation arches, currently underwater. We placed them as items to enjoy and visit regardless of the museum.

The Architecture Competition for the Brazilian Maritime Museum was promoted by the Cultural Department of Abrigo do Marinheiro (DCAMN) and by the Rio de Janeiro Department of the Brazilian Institute of Architects (IAB/RJ). The objective of this new intervention, which has an unprecedented conceptual proposal of a national character, is to stimulate knowledge about maritime history that is intrinsically linked to the formation of the country, highlighting the sea and rivers as cultural, symbolic, and mythical instances. The museum will be part of a complex of cultural centers in the central area of Rio, such as the National Historical Museum, the Banco do Brasil Cultural Center, the Casa França-Brasil, the Rio Art Museum (MAR) and the Museu do Tomorrow designed by Santiago Calatrava.

Architecture planning: Nir Sivan Architects and JLM (Jayme Lago Mestiri)
Arch. Priscila Faria Milanesi Dourado
Arch. Mohamed (Ibrahim) Abdel Fattah
Arch. Marina Sugai Brant de Carvalho
Arch. Anna Rubleva
Arch. Amanda Duboc Maior
Arch. Elisa Aiko
Arch. Maria Alice Vasconcelos
SBP – Schlaich Bergermann Partner Envelope Structure
Construtora Baggio general Contractor
Gil Fialho Paisagismo Laandscape
LDArti – Projetos Especiais em Iluminação Light design
Cato Design Visual comunication
Intellieng Arquitetura e Engeenering and Installation