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Picasso Museum Malaga, Malaga

Designing an environment for the preservation of Picasso’s work

Arup was at the centre of the restoration process of The Palace of Buenavista, in Malaga, Spain. It is a beautiful example of Andalucian architecture dating back to the 16th century and houses a permanent collection of Pablo Picasso's works.

The choice of this building as home of the Museo Picasso Málaga was inspired by the main donor’s specific wish. Christine Ruiz-Picasso wanted a typically Andalusian palace, exactly like the main building of today’s Museum. Malaga was Picasso's birth city.

Arup provided the structural engineering and building services expertise for this prestigious project. The aim was to design a perfect environment for the preservation of Picasso’s work with systems integrated and in harmony with the architecture.

The refurbishment includes new buildings with a contemporary style to house the temporary exhibition galleries, an extensive area for art storage and restoration, book store and offices.

For internal climate control, extensive computer analysis was performed to identify the degree of variation of temperature and humidity with minimum mechanical intervention. Natural light has been incorporated into the temporary exhibition galleries and circulation spaces.

Arup advised on the design of the large central skylights of the first floor galleries which enable the adjustment of internal light levels to suit varying exhibitions whilst protecting the artwork from heat and UV radiation in one of Spain’s sunniest regions.

Excavations during construction unearthed archaeological remains dating back to the Phoenician and Roman period – these relics have become an integral feature of the Museo Picasso Malaga.