- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 02 Nov 2020
Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum
The Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum (MAC), is located in Niteroi, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was designed by the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, who worked with structural engineer Bruno Contarini. Since completion in 1996 it has become one of Rio de Janeiro’s best known landmarks.
The flying saucer-shaped modernist structure, which Niemeyer described as a ‘flower growing from the rocks’, is set on a cliff-side above a beach. Public access is via an elegant 98 m long swirling red-carpeted ramp.
The hexagonal main hall provides 400 sq. m of column-free exhibition space. A circular viewing promenade with windows angled at 40-degrees, provides panoramic views of Sugar Loaf Mountain and the Guanabara bay.
The MAC helped to create a small-scale ‘Bilbao effect’, attracting tourists to this area of Niteroi for the first time. However, it also became embroiled in a political scandal because of a controversial land acquisition and sale deal.
In the introduction to the film ‘An architect committed to his century’, Niemeyer was depicted flying over Rio de Janeiro in a MAC UFO before landing on its cliff-side location. You can see a clip of the introduction here.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Ark Encounter, Kentucky.
- Brazilian Modernism lecture.
- Building of the week series.
- Cathedral of Brasilia.
- Dali Theatre and Museum.
- Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao.
- Kunsthaus Graz.
- Luxor Las Vegas.
- National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing.
- Robot Building, Bangkok.
- Sage Gateshead.
- Studio Bell, Calgary.
- Titanic Belfast.
- Unusual building design of the week.
Featured articles and news
Six technologies guiding O&M into the future.
Homes carved from sandstone cliffs in England.
A review of the HES pilot project.
Organisation alerts membership to findings of IHBC research.
Four outstanding professionals recognised.
Sustainable flooring from super strong grass.
Organisation presents reactions from industry leaders.
New infrastructure bank to be based in the North of England.
Fairer, faster, greener. A summary of the key points.
Strategies to help provide safer working conditions.
Protecting flora, fauna and the other natural features of Scotland.
Architecture considered somewhere between 'sublime and beautiful'.
Polish piano factory revived through an energy-oriented tune up.