The aim of the proposal was to create a building that fully meets the conservation and storage needs of Rio de Janeiro's Museum of Image and Sound's collection, which includes a lifecycle of centuries, while also serving as a centre for research and the dissemination of culture to the public, in addition to being a stage for cultural manifestations.
The main concepts were: an expansion of the urban public area leading into the project and generating a public/private hybrid space aimed at both promoting existing content as well as absorbing spontaneous, local content; and, making the collection and its handling more permeable to the public. The notion of an "internal street" was developed as a free-flowing corridor within the building that would be fully open to the public and accessed from the street. This space would be used for performances, temporary exhibitions, projections, multimedia installations and other cultural manifestations that interact with the urban life of the Lapa neighbourhood. It would feature a lounge where visitors can relax or appreciate films from the museum's collection projected on a large screen and shown back to back, as well as cabins where visitors can access the museum's musical collection.
A café, book store and gift store would also be open to the public. Local graffiti artists would be invited to create and exhibit their work on the project's external surfaces. The issue of access to the collection is also reflected in the "internal street" concept through the screening of films and the music cabins, as well as digital stations. As regards transparency of how the collection is handled, technical laboratories were proposed with either fully transparent glass walls or the option of transparent "windows" that could be closed if required due to security concerns.
The brief also includes a reception, library, auditorium, research area, classrooms and rehearsal rooms, a video editing workstation, studio, administrative area, meeting room, artist residence units, IT support areas, a warehouse, changing rooms, pantry, cloakroom, security room, deposit, loading area, collection storage area including security control, a separate reception and sorting area, and technical spaces, including: conservation laboratories, technical treatment of information, technical reserve and a digitalisation laboratory. The public areas, such as the store, café, library, auditorium and classrooms were organised on the ground floor, while the floors above contain the technical, administrative and storage areas. The artist residences were located at the top of the building, in a part of the rooftop to be preserved, and the permanent exhibition area and auditorium were placed in the basement. The entrance to the public areas and the entrance to the museum's collections were kept separate, with independent circulation and security control.
The design concept proposed the demolition of the existing buildings, with the exception of the preserved façades, in order to conceive more efficient spaces that are more compatible with the current museum's requirements, thus ensuring greater cost benefits in the long term. The independence of the volumes was also based on clarity of purpose and risk management. Thus, the front of the project comprises a kind of internal reinforcement of the façade, using steel and glass, which houses the volumes and connections needed. The floors are staggered, leaving the front façade free on the inside. It would be left unchanged, simply protected by glass, as a manner of leaving the marks of its history in plain view. The indentations in the side façades would be closed using glass, to provide light to the circulation spaces of the technical areas and the "internal street". As the collection is located at the back of the site, a loading area was designed for the pavement using a freight elevator to an underground corridor running parallel to the "internal street", across the site, and leading directly to the collections, with the separate reception and sorting areas. This underground corridor would be visible from the "internal street" through cut-outs in the pavement covered in glass. The freight elevator would also serve as a totem pole, bearing the MIS PRO logo and lighting up at night.
The main building system is based on a steel structure, allowing for faster construction and a cleaner site, in addition to ensuring recycling possibilities at the end of the building's lifetime, mechanical and fire resistance, and waterproofing. Concrete would be used for the excavation and slabs. Walls would mainly comprise glass partitions (fully transparent in less sensitive areas and opaque, with "cut-outs", in technical areas), but also include drywall for divisions and support environments, as well as precast concrete with a perforated metallic plate façade for the outside walls of the collection area. Artists would be invited to create temporary or permanent interventions on the surfaces using a wide variety of media.
Security, environmental protection and risk prevention measures would be adopted for the collections, including: spatial hierarchy-based security control; a safe distance between buildings; a reduction in combustible materials; suitable escape routes; low consumption artificial lighting with proximity sensors; swipe card security access for the technical areas and using biometric security for the guard modules; a management and automation system integrated with the operational environment and security systems; an always on air conditioning system. The collections would be managed using electronic commands and management and localisation software programs.
As regards environmental sustainability, either LEED, Aqua or DGNB certification would aimed at for the development of the architectural design project and the construction works. Demolition work would comply with ABRECON guidelines.