Latitude/Longitude: 25.7008, -100.261
Completing an adaptive re-use and restoration of a derelict 1960s blast furnace, once the centre of steel production in this region of Mexico, Grimshaw’s design for the resulting Horno³: Museo del Acero has created an impressive vessel for the museum. Sited on a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Museo del Acero stands as a landmark structure within the 140 ha Parque Fundidora.
In addition to the existing furnace platforms, tanks and control rooms, the project includes 9,000 sq m of new indoor and outdoor exhibition space for the museum.
Its focus and physical centre is the blast furnace and cast hall. Standing 70 m high, the structure is the element around which new museum facilities are organised. Its interactive exhibits bring to life the methods for extraction, processing and casting of steel, including the pyrotechnic display in the cast hall which simulates the blast furnace itself in a thrilling array.
Alongside this keyspace, new additions to the museum create a robust, modern and educative facility that is also suggestive of its industrial past. A cab housed in the former iron-ore elevator leads to soaring catwalks that weave through the site and offer vertiginous views.
The Steel Gallery’s tessellated steel plate roof and a helical steel staircase with cantilevered treads illustrate how metal sheet can be transformed by pushing the limits of engineering using contemporary design tools.
The museum restores the blast furnace as a proud icon of Monterrey, encouraging pride for the important industrial heritage it represents.
Contributed by Nicholas Grimshaw Architects
⇒ Architecture Guide to MONTERREY