“…In a different way, the project for The Museum for the Royal Palace Collections could also be described as geological. Sitting at the limit of the city, embedded into the landscape, the project required extensive sitework. It is impossible to separate out the building as an object distinct from the construction of the site itself. This is a project that operates between culture and geology: it needed to navigate a delicate cultural history at the same time that it had to solve complex geo-technical engineering issues. The architectural language is highly abstract. A thick screen of concrete pillars shifts in and out of phase, creating variable conditions of natural light, and shading the galleries from the strong western sun. The floor heights are lightly registered, like the traces of geological strata, and broad ramps extend out into the garden, like a rock fall at the bottom of a cliff. On a site with such a complex cultural history, to add yet another cultural reference risks trivializing that very history. Instead, the project presents itself as a geological fact: the product of accumulated deposits over time, shaped by the action of natural forces. In this way, Mansilla + Tuñon allow the project to achieve the dignity it requires while still accommodating the complex needs of the modern museum…”
Stan Allen. Disciplined Play: Some Recent Projects of Mansilla + Tuñon, in AV 144 Madrid 2011.