The existing building provides a modern container, which not only houses the museum, but also acts as a social meeting place, and a new reference point for cultural life in the city.
Inside, to one side, is the ticket office, which is an important element that connects the entrance and the commercial and recreational activities of the Museum. The desk, which is the main ticket selling point, is designed to ensure that staff have a clear overview extending from the entrance to the large central courtyard. This element is transformed and developed to fulfil its purpose: from a simple desk next to the Museum ticket office it becomes a display unit near to the bookshop, and even incorporates a seating area, on the courtyard side, for groups to use.
The public can exploit the various services provided in the atrium thanks to the visual identification of the various facilities: bookshop, cafeteria and documentation centre. In this sense the project responds to the functional need to identify sub-zones where the various activities can be performed, maintaining the spatial continuity and the curving geometry of the body of the existing building.
The entrance to the bookshop and the cafeteria is on the side looking onto the covered courtyard, under a low canopy that highlights the entrance. The platform of wooden slats, which rests on the existing dark resin floor, creates different perspectives and spatial environments. The large cash desk, which controls the entrance and exit to the bookshop and the cafeteria, is separated visually and functionally from the museum ticket desk by a large two-sided oak cupboard. The bookshop is furnished with modular cubic oak display units, which can be moved and combined together differently to meet the new requirements of any future management. At this point, visitors are “captured” by a visual tunnel, which is formed by a long walkway covered by a metal canopy, creating the impression of leafy trees using a specially illuminated metal sheet. The horizontal metal sheet, which is positioned lower than the existing ceiling, focuses on the bar unit as the visual focal point and the element that completes the space. Sofas, armchairs and low tables organise and animate the walkway, offering visitors various ways of enjoying the large available space. In the same axis as the bar unit, on the right of the walkway, are a number of small tables and chairs standing on the existing floor and interspersed with large trees in pots, which create a “wood” that also “invades” the area around the bookshop where a number of seats will be available for visitors to consult the books on sale. To the left of the walkway, two large sofas proved seating for several people, making this an ideal waiting area for groups. In Summer, the cafeteria will also have an outdoor area that will be decorated with additional plants and seats.