Beeline is an architectural intervention that might trigger insight into our perception of space as well as time. An additional pathway dissects the maat building both in plan and section. This shortcut connects the entrance from the quayside directly with a new access point facing the city. This gesture not only transforms the way visitors enter and experience the museum, but it also links the formal entry to a new, “clandestine” entrance through the loading dock. As such, this transformation not only opens up the building to new perspectives but it also challenges the implied hierarchies of spaces in a traditional museum.
Apart from new relationships, Beeline introduces a series of spaces and experiences in its midst, that transforms the museum space into a polyfunctional civic arena. At the heart of the building, the pathway splits apart into brackets that frame spaces for gathering, over two levels, connected by a stair. By wrapping the structure in a filigree of membranes, the installation takes on a luminous aura. The various layers offer a soft enclosure between new spaces for exchange while allowing its skin to be projected upon.
The installation is complemented by a series of screens, objects, art-carts, and seatings, that can be rearranged on an as need basis, producing an ever-evolving organization.
“By wrapping the structure in a filigree of membranes, the installation takes on a luminous aura. The various layers offer a soft enclosure between new spaces for exchange while allowing its skin to be projected upon.” SO – IL.
"Beeline"’s “techno jungle” mantling the info point and sources of drinking water.
The hammock and the arena. "Beeline" turns the museum into a landscape of experiences, encounters and conversations.
"Our installation models interaction. It not only alters the experience of the existing architecture, but also the relationships between maat and the city of Lisbon, the public and the institution, and between museum-goers and the museum. Beeline explores how space, time and play can redefine the relevance of cultural institutions."
— SO – IL
Other design strategies have been developed in "Beeline", becoming permanent assets of the museum, namely an "open storage system" that allows multiple reconfigurations, and a "mobile staging structure".
Iwan Baan is a Dutch photographer known primarily for images that narrate the life and interactions that occur within architecture. He has photographed buildings by many of the world's most prominent architects, including Rem Koolhaas, Herzog & de Meuron, Zaha Hadid, Diller Scofidio & Renfro, Toyo Ito, SANAA, Morphosis. With SO – IL, Baan has been developing a prolific collaboration, documenting most of the studio’s projects.
Founded in New York in 2008, SO – IL is an architectural studio led by Florian Idenburg and Jing Liu that not only produces permanent buildings but also thinks about architecture in relation to time and duration.
SO – IL’s largest piece of ephemeral architecture to date, Beeline (maat, 10/06/2020 – 04/02/2021) is designed to host maat Mode 2020, an experimental participatory public programme of talks and other events. With architecture by SO – IL (Florian Idenburg, Martina Baratta, Yuanjun Summer Liu), "Beeline" was produced by maat in partnership with ArtWorks.
The “clandestine door”, a new access point facing the city, is a key element in "Beeline" which, with the pandemic, took on a new role.