Power Structures Option Studio

Contemporary art museums have the power to orient the public – they make visible what has been seen but not looked at. Yet behind the pristine white walls of these museums is also the power to conceal. They conceal the internal machinery of the museum which runs on exchanges of capital and legitimacy while the hermetic seal of the museum which works to protect its art and artifacts from the external environment adversely works to disconnects ideas from the world.

How can architecture draw attention to these hidden mechanisms if not reveal them?

For the design of a new cultural institute conceived and funded by the EDP Foundation, the non-profit sector of the Portuguese electric utility company, I am proposing a new institution called C.A.R.E., the Center for Art and Research in Energy. CARE will foster and incubate research on energy and the environment. By positioning art and science closely together, the institution will draw connections and nurture exchanges to tackle the energy crisis which is profoundly social and cultural. The building will serve as the new entry point to the Electricity Museum and seek to expand beyond the static and didactic nature of the heritage museum.