Museo Soumaya, located in Mexic, houses a large private collection of over 66,000 pieces of art which have an alleged value of over $700 million, the majority are European works from the 15th-20th centuries, including several stand-out pieces from Old Masters, French artist Auguste Rodin and more present day artists like Dalí. The Soumaya also has the world’s largest collection of pre-Hispanic and Colonial coins and currency. The museum originally opened in a 16th-century watermill building in Mexico City’s Plaza Loreto. In 2011, the museum’s main permanent exhibition and collection moved to a new iconic building on Plaza Carso. This new 16,000-square-meter home of the Museo Soumaya was designed by Fernando Romero.
Due to its combination of spectacular architecture and even more impressive art collection, in 2013 it was the most visited museum in Mexico. The shape of building originates from the rotation of a trapezoidal contour which generates a dynamic double-ruled surface. This surface was then clad with 16,000 hexagonal mirrored-steel elements, referring the traditional, colonial ceramic-tiled building façades in Mexico City and giving the building a distinctly different appearance depending on the weather, time of day and the viewer’s vantage point.
The 46-meter high building contains exhibition spaces, storage areas, offices, a bookshop, a library, a cafe-restaurant, and a 320-seat auditorium. All public spaces are connected by a sequence of spiral ramps which extends from the entrance lobby up to a large daylight-filled open floor gallery on the top level. The program of activities and events of the Museo Soumaya features special exhibitions, conferences, guided tours, educational activities, and special events.