Architects: Ramos Castellano Arquitectos
Area : 1265 m² Year : 2022
Photographs :Sergio Pirrone
Lead Architects : Eloisa Ramos, Moreno Castellano
A new national Center for handcraft, art, and design, a renewed vision above the art of design, handcraft, and culture of Cabo Verde in the city of Mindelo. The museum project was born out of a visionary dream. In an informal conversation with the director of the Centro Nacional de Artesanato e Design in Mindelo, he asked us if we had an idea for that space – an old colonial house with a patio and an old building on the rear. We answered him with the idea of a new iconic building, a museum. From then on, it was his energy and our vision, and the commitment from both sides, with support and total financing of the government.
The site comprises an old house that played an important role in the history of Mindelo and was restored. Besides this building, there is an open-air patio in the backyard and a second building. We were asked to deal with the restoration, the patio, and with the new building on the back, establishing a connection with the old house. The expositions, the cafe, the shop, and the branding are from CNAD curatorial and design team.
Cabo Verde is an archipelago of 10 islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Almost every product came from abroad in containers, barrels… from oil to clothing, to food and people emigrants. Thus the barrels are used for everything, as containers and as materials with many uses.
Our approach was to knock down the walls and open the patio to the city and to use those barrels caps and create a detached skin that covers the entire museum, paying homage to this simple object that is so entrenched into the lives of the people of Mindelo.
Like in the other projects, the purpose was to work with the fewer resources as possible and work with the artisans of the center in a self-build using recycled materials workshop. Funny enough, the budget has grown now but we kept the concept. The idea is to really bring to the center of the city and pay homage to a material used in the periphery. More than that, it also has a specific function.
The double-ventilated facade of the new building assures a passive control of the internal temperature without air conditioning, the caps can rotate like a persiana, allowing the modulation of the internal light and airflow. The energy will be provided by photovoltaic panels.The colors hide a musical score. Each color is a musical note. We wanted to use the perceptual phenomenon of synesthesia so a Caboverdian composer and multi-instrumentalist, Vasco Martins, was invited to participate and wrote the music behind the colors. Paying homage to the musical traditions of the islands and transmitting a visual musical joy to the square.
All the furniture of the new building is designed by Ramos Castellano Arquitectos and handcrafted by local artisans.
The museum is housed in a colonial building that was originally built for Senator Vera Cruz at the end of the 19th century. Between 1917 and 1921, it housed the Liceu Nacional. In 1950, Rádio Barlavento was installed in the building. After the radio station moved in 1979, the building was transformed into the current museum. Renovation of the current museum building and construction of a new museum building attached to it have been announced for 2018.
In order to fulfil its aspiration of being a platform for sustainable cultural development and promotion with national and international recognition, in 2019 CNAD started the rehabilitation of the century-old Casa Senador Vera Cruz and the construction of a new cultural facility, designed from scratch by Ramos Castellano Arquitectos.
The architecture of this new building, which rises above the city of Mindelo, is defined by its vibrant metal facade. Harmoniously composed of colourful drumheads, it represents the social, cultural and symbolic context that the metallic barrels bring to the islands, loaded with goods and stories of a vast Cape Verdean diaspora spread worldwide.
The plasticity and poetics of the building go even further: in the diversified palette of colours that compose it, lies an encoded musical score by the musician and composer Vasco Martins.
The remaining architectural and construction solutions adopted in this building complex, in addition to providing body, colour and texture, synthesise and accompany the expansive and universal thinking of CNAD.
Between the old and the contemporary, between Casa Senador Vera Cruz and this new architectural project, a central patio connects and puts the two buildings in dialogue.
It is in this space, which links tradition and innovation, that CNAD operates, a unique cultural facility in the Cape Verdean context, endowed with permanent and temporary exhibition galleries, a library and research centre, a training centre, collection and artistic residencies spaces, a shop, a café and a multipurpose courtyard. This is the setting for an aggregative, creative, dynamic and forward-looking environment that intends to continue writing the history of Cape Verde’s artistic and cultural wealth.
The 24-inch-diameter barrel lids served as a module on which the dimensions of the concrete-frame building are based. Ramos and Castellano avoided using concrete block—so ubiquitous in “emerging” world construction—because “fabricators often remove sand from beaches,” Castellano explains. “Architecture can amount to a strong force and our philosophy is to keep structures light, to find a balance with nature, and integrate buildings into the ecosystem.”
Ramos Castellano designed almost all the center’s furniture, including tables, seating, and shelving in the library, and had it manufactured by neighborhood craftspeople. A steel barrel (cost: $5) was split open to create the flat planes of the multicolor reception desk; with its faded lettering and rusty patina, the construction resembles a Robert Rauschenberg assemblage. The brise-soleil not only allows air to flow through windows punched in the rear wall but also casts rotating patterns on the polished concrete floors, turning them into kinetic art. The lids generate music, too: The architects invited Vasco Martins, a Cape Verdean composer of the John Cage persuasion, into the project, and he ascribed a note to each disk based on its color, creating a sound work of chance and accident. “Music and architecture have a synesthetic relationship; they share a sense of space,” Castellano observes.
Could this little museum’s joyous architectural music prove to be Cape Verde’s siren song? “We wanted to achieve a Bilbao Effect,” Castellano acknowledges, “to demonstrate that even on this small island in the middle of the Atlantic, you can build things that spread around the world, to counter the feeling that only the most developed countries with the most developed economies can generate amazing architecture.” Francis Kéré did it with his Gando primary school in Burkina Faso, at the very heart of Africa; Ramos and Castellano’s CNAD addition may well do the same for this tiny nation some 400 miles off the great continent’s coast.
Master in Management and Cultural Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in Theatre from the Lisbon School of Theatre and Cinema, in Portugal, he was part of INOV-Art – International Internship Program for Young People (USA), in the cultural and artistic domain. Since 2015, he is the Director of the National Centre for Art, Crafts and Design (CNAD), a Cape Verdean public institute, which integrates art galleriesprojects, such as a Museum, a rResearch centreCenter and a lLibrary, an Experimental Laboratory of Art, Crafts and Design and a broad project to develop the cultural and creative sector in Cabope Verde. For more thanOver ten years, he worked with The Antaeus Company, in – Los Angeles, USA; and Teatro Nacional D. Maria IID. Maria II National Theatre, Trindade Theatre and United Artists, in Lisbon, Portugal.
He was distinguished by Apollo Magazine, a London based internationaln English visual arts magazine, as one of the most influential thinkers in Africa under 40 years of age, in 2020. He participated in the Manifesto “Culture for the Future”, an initiative of the European Union that took place in Brussels, in 2019, and at the “Cabope Verde Ambition 2030 International Forum”, promoted by the RepublicState of Cabo Verde, 2020.
As a professor, Irlando has collaborated with ISCEE university. His as a teacher. rResearch interests are: Creative Economies and Cultural Management, being the.a Author of the book, “Cabope Verde, Creative Economies, What Benefits for the Country? – The case of, Atlantic Music Expo Cabo Verde”.
Centro Nacional de Arte, Artesanato e Design (CNAD) (English: “National Centre for Art, Crafts and Design”) is a cultural centre in the city of Mindelo, on the island of São Vicente, in Cape Verde. It is the first cultural institution built from scratch in the country, prepared to host temporary and permanent exhibitions, develop creative residencies and also serve as the basis for a documentary and artistic archive of Cape Verdean traditional and contemporary art production. CNAD is situated at the north end of Praça Nova, in the city centre of Mindelo.
source : wikipedia _ archdaily _ interiordesign _ cnad
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