ultramarinus – beyond the sea


This morning, we returned to Rio’s Centro (downtown) to visit Museu de Arte do Rio (MAR). Completed earlier this year, MAR is a new art museum in the city. We took the metro to Uruguaiana Station and walked along Av. Rio Branco to its northern end at Praca Maua. Praca Maua was a major port of Rio in early 20th century. Today, it is a large construction site where a new tunnel will pass through, and a new public square and museum will be located. Adjacent to Praca Maua, we walked by a narrow pedestrian street filled with vendors until we reached MAR at its terminus.
The MAR consisted of two structures, a newly erected 6-storey building and the renovated Palacete Dom João VI. A large wavy canopy connects the two at the top. Thanks to the warm climate of Rio, most of the ground level is open to the exterior, including the ticket office. We started our visit by taking the elevator to the 6th floor of the new building where the roof patio is located. At the roof patio, we could see the construction site of Santiago Calatrava’s Museu do Amanha (Museum of Tomorrow) out by the waterfront. From a display model, we also learnt about the upcoming urban renewal projects in the Port Maua area, including the proposed replacement of the elevated waterfront expressway with a major tunnel that connects the Centro with the bus terminal. The current Praca Maua will become a public square at the terminus of Av Rio Branco, flanked by MAR to its west and Museu do Amanha to its north.
From the 6th level we walked down one level via a spiral staircase. A long bridge on the 5th level led us to the former Palacete Dom João VI, where most of the exhibitions were situated. As we descended from level to level, the exhibits ranged from a permanent display of the history of Rio through artefacts, photography and paintings, multi-media artworks that reflect current issues of the city, to theatrical art that engaged visitors’ attention through actions and speeches.
Visiting the MAR was an interesting bonus to our experience of Rio, as we were keen to see the city’s newest architectural additions prior to the World Cup 2014 and Olympus Games 2016. While Calatrava’s Museu do Amanha and Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s Museu da Imagem e do Som (Museum of Image and Sound) were still under construction, we were delighted to see MAR at our last day in Rio.


Read other posts on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Day 20.1 – Ipanema
Day 20.2 – Urca
Day 20.3 – Pao de Acucar
Day 21.1 – Ipanema Beach
Day 21.2 – Real Gabinete Portugues de Leitura (Portuguese Reading Room)
Day 21.3 – Centro Cultural do Banco do Brasil
Day 21.4 – Lapa and Santa Teresa
Day 21.5 – Botafogo and Leblon
Day 22.1 – Museu de Arte do Rio
Day 22.2 – Cristo Redentor (Christ the Redeemer)

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South America 2013 – Our Destinations
Buenos Aires (Argentina), Iguazu Falls (Argentina/Brazil), Pantanal (Brazil), Brasilia (Brazil), Belo Horizonte & Inhotim (Brazil), Ouro Preto (Brazil), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Paraty (Brazil), Sao Paulo (Brazil), Samaipata & Santa Cruz (Bolivia), Sucre (Bolivia), Potosi (Bolivia), Southwest Circuit (Bolivia), Tilcara, Purmamarca, Salta (Argentina), Cafayate (Argentina), San Pedro de Atacama (Chile), Antofagasta & Paranal Observatory (Chile), Chiloe (Chile), Puerto Varas (Chile), Torres del Paine (Chile), Ushuaia (Argentina), El Chalten (Argentina), El Calafate (Argentina), Isla Magdalena (Argentina), Santiago (Chile), Valparaiso (Chile), Afterthought

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