MACA: Museo de Arte Contemporaneo Atchugarry

Created On:

March 28, 2016

Location: Manantiales — Maldonado, Uruguay. | Architect: Carlos Ott | Area:53.820 SF | Opening Date: January 2022



The project is located within the premises of the Pablo Atchugarry Foundation, a place where art and landscape can be contemplated simultaneously. The building is not apart from this reality and is expressed as a fusion of art, landscaping, architecture, and engineering.

The 53.820 SF area includes four exhibition halls, a multifunctional hall, a cinema, and a cafeteria. The building, along with the program it houses, aims to become a landmark in Maldonado.


MACA is a project with variable curves that blends into the environment like another sculpture. Wood is the protagonist of the project, making its shape possible while offering a high-quality space from the inside.

The structure of the sculpture’s hall stands out. It has a double-curved roof supported by a set of glued laminated timber supports manufactured in Europe with locally sourced wood (red grandis eucalyptus).

The 19 supports are different from each other to create the double curvature of the roof. Each support consists of a variable cross-section beam attached to a constant cross-section pillar. The maximum length covered by the frames is 90ft, and the maximum height is 50ft. Between the beams of the frames, there are 323 different-sized and shaped rafters. Steel complements the wood in some connections and bracing.


Uruguayan wood was exported to France. There, the Simonin company manufactured the structural components, which were later imported to Uruguay. Due to the maximum container size restrictions, some parts had to be redesigned into two pieces and then joined together.

The assembly of the supports and the entire structure was done on-site. Considering the quantity of different cross-section pieces (beams and rafters), precision and itemization of the elements are key to proper assembly.

Under these conditions, an organized and continuously coordinated approach becomes essential to achieve success in the completed project.

Working with the BIM methodology facilitates continuous coordination between different disciplines in the different project phases. With our experience working with this methodology, it is very difficult, if not impossible, to imagine another way of working on a project of this magnitude.

Here are some of the tasks that can be performed for this project when working with BIM:

  • Modeling and visualization of complex geometry for the initial stage to analyze its feasibility in terms of design and cost.
  • Updated modeling and visualization for project development in all phases.
  • Itemization of each element to create schedules for each piece and organize the sequence among them.
  • Overall project measurements for finishes.
  • Measurements of structural elements and the roof.
  • Counting wooden pieces and their assemblies.
  • Coordination between different project phases.
  • Coordination between different disciplines.
  • Maintenance plan for after construction.

In my opinion, MACA is a very interesting project. On one hand, because of its material result, its aesthetic appearance, its impact on the landscape and the quality of the interior space. On the other hand, because of the interdisciplinary challenge it required. This project is the result of synergy among professionals from various disciplines (art, architecture, engineering, and manufacturing, among others), together with the use of advanced design, modeling, and manufacturing software and technologies. The integration of all these elements made the construction of the project possible.

From BAM, we invite you to visit MACA in Uruguay!

Contact us to collaborate and synergize on your project.

Dayana Gersberg from BAM