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"The Sphere: A Unique Design Concept for the Museum of Emotions"

Written by Matteo Borsetti & Nia Ellisa Dennis @MBA architects

The Sphere in the Lakesite _ Video created by  Matteo Borsetti _ MBA ARCHITECTS © 2024

The Sphere in the Forest_ Video created by  Nia E. Dennis _ MBA ARCHITECTS © 2024

A few months ago, we decided to participate in this design competition which could not be described as a conventional architecture competition for the topic treated and its way of representing it. Indeed, the Museum of Emotions competition is tasking participants with using architecture as a tool to bring out different emotions. Participants are free to choose the specific emotions they incite with their designs – fear, anger, anxiety, love, happiness, laughter, etc. The purpose of the Museum of Emotions is to use architecture as the primary tool to create emotional states, through consideration of the scales of the spaces, the journey through the space, colour, lighting, and material choice. They are asked to design a museum that includes two separate exhibition halls that bring out contrasting emotions – one inducing negative emotions, and the other inducing positive emotions.

Museum of Emotions / Edition #4 is one of Buildners' silent competitions, in which participants must communicate their ideas without the use of any text. The design concept and thinking behind it must all be communicated solely through the use of visuals.

For the Museum of Emotions competition, we designed a Museum that includes exhibition halls showcasing two contrasting emotions - inducing negative and positive. The process began by examining the wheel of emotions and writing down opposing feelings. Then, there was a series of sketches.

Image 1: Study sketches and structure diagram _ MBA Architects © 2024

We created a few models and refined the initial sketches. 

Image 2 : First model made with sheets of cut paper _ MBA Architects © 2024

Image 3,4 : Renders of the advanced 3D model _ MBA Architects © 2024

As this was an ideas competition, participants were free to choose any site location, real or imaginary, as well as the size of their structure.

We decided to set our project in two different locations:

  • A first proposal in an IMAGINARY DESERT landscape with the presence of an ARTIFICIAL LAKE, where the Museum becomes a bridge for crossing this lake.

Image 5: Aerial view of the Museum in the middle of the lake _ MBA Architects © 2024

Negative emotions are represented in these two tall and narrow tunnels which induce a sense of fear during the crossing from the dark entrance ...........

Image 6: Inside the tunnel _ MBA Architects © 2024 the end of the tunnel where instead positive emotions will appear and the light will begin to appear which will lead to the mirror Sphere in the center of the Museum and surrounded by copper shaped metal blades.

Image 7: The central mirror Sphere surrounded by metal blades _ MBA Architects © 2024

  • A second proposal in an IMAGINARY FOREST with encapsulated the Museum among the tall trees The submission takes inspiration and gives a feeling of isolation, contemplation, darkness,and the fear of the unknown, contrasting with the sphere offering identity, reflection, and light at the end of the tunnel

Image 8: Aerial view of the Museum encapsulated in an imaginary forest _ MBA Architects © 2024

Image 9: Front View of the Museum encapsulated in an imaginary forest _ MBA Architects © 2024

As we look out further, we can reflect on life and how there is a journey. We may walk through the darkness, but there is faith to come out of it. We find meaning in every stage and every occurrence. Sometimes, the only way to the light is through the darkness.

Image 10: At the tunnel entrance _ MBA Architects © 2024

Image 11 : Perspective cross-section of the museum _ MBA Architects © 2024

Afterward, one reflects on the scale and magnitude of an experience’s impact—deconstructing and noticing the various moments, zooming out, and observing the effect on others.


Design Project by MBA Architects Team's / Arch. Matteo Borsetti + Nia Ellisa Dennis © 2024


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