Museum of Cultures

Blocks of squared off shape, clad in zinc and a  crystal structure – lit around the clock – “bursts” in the area of the former Ansaldo plant to host MUDEC, from March 27 in Milan.

MUDEC, Museo delle culture, Milano
On 27 March the Museum of Cultures – MUDEC opens its spaces with a preview to speak of the ancient ties Milan has with the Universal Expositions and the cultures of the world through two great shows, “Worlds in Milan” and “Africa”.

The project for the Museum of Cultures originated in the 1990s when the Municipality of Milan acquired the former industrial area of Ansaldo to give it over to the cultural activities.

The disused factories, which are true monuments of industrial archaeology, have been transformed into workshops, studies and new creative spaces. The very architecture of the building mirrors the many spirits that dwell in the MUDEC.

The building features blocks of squared off forms clad in zinc and a crystal structure – lit around the clock – that bursts geometrically upon the area hosting it and appears very different from the adjacent rooms.

MUDEC, Museo delle culture, Milano
MUDEC, Museum of Cultures, Milan

The MUDEC sets itself apart by its central hall in a free and organic shape which generates an internal courtyard with a characteristic “flower” shape, a covered piazza, a meeting place between cultures and communities.

Within the building various spaces are laid out that offer the visitor and the city a multiplicity of cultural proposals and services, spread over 17,000 sqm. The ground floor is devoted to welcoming; it has a bistrot, a design store, ticket office, wardrobe, restoration workshop and storerooms set up for visits by small accompanied groups.

The exhibition area of the Museum, located on the first floor, is set around a large covered central piazza and hosts the section of the museum itinerary holding the works from the permanent collection and halls given over to the large temporary shows. The space is rounded out by the auditorium, a theatre that sits three hundred, devoted to performance and visual arts.

On the second floor on the other hand there is the MUDEC Club restaurant, which offers unseen glimpses over the building and the surrounding area and aims to be a container for events linked to the art-world: artistic performances, presentations, and workshops will be held in series over a yearly calendar and will stimulate the artistic spirit of this space.

Finally, MUDEC Junior is the space specifically dedicated to children, where it is proposed bringing the younger ones closer to the diverse cultures of the world through activities of play, multimedia stations and manual workshops.

studio FM milano, MUDEC, Museo delle Cultire, identità visiva
studio FM milano, MUDEC, Museum of Cultures, Milan, visual identity

The visual identity of the MUDEC, Museum of Cultures, designed by the FM milano practice has been built on the contaminations and grafts from all the cultures that make up the mosaic of the history of the world. Beginning with the brand, the “M” zoomorphic initial letter of MUDEC and Museum, which recombines an infinite number of times with the accents, signs and peculiarities of the alphabets produced by every people. A horned “M” which changes appearance and reconfigures itself by being contaminated with the signs of the Indian alphabet, with the diacritic signs of the Arabic alphabet, with a number of parts of Japanese ideogram.

The design of icons that make up the signage of the MUDEC is a playful citation of rock paintings and Egyptian hieroglyphs, the dawn of civilisation.

The colours used in the graphics from the FM milano practice for the MUDEC are the bright colours of peoples, the magenta of traditional Indian saris, sampled turquoise of the patterns of Quechua fabrics, the gold of Oman craftsmanship and jewellery, the violet of traditional Vietnamese dresses, colours that contrast with each other, often glaringly, that determine continuing tension and figurative vibrations.

MUDEC, Museum of Cultures, Milan
scientific management: Comune di Milano
exhibitions planning: 24 Ore Cultura
visual identity: studio FM milano

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