MOLE Museum



“Through its programs, The Mexican Museum voices the complexity and richness of Latino art throughout the Americas,
encouraging dialogue among the broadest public.”

The Mexican Museum was founded in 1975 by San Francisco artist and resident Peter Rodriguez. Mr. Rodriguez’s original vision to create an institution in the United States “to exhibit the aesthetic expression of the Mexican and Mexican-American people” has been expanded over the years to now include the Chicano and Latin experience. The museum collection now numbers over 14,000 objects that represent thousands of years of Latin art and culture from early Mesoamerican and Pre-Columbian art up to modern and contemporary works including artist such as Manuel Neri. It is envisioned that the museum’s larger and more centrally located future home will enable it to build on its association with the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC. The collection is organized into five categories that will also form the basis for the museum’s experience: Pre-Hispanic, Colonial, Popular, Modern and Contemporary Mexican and Latino, and Chicano Art.

The institution’s original home was in the Mission District. It is presently housed in Fort Mason. The museum will be relocating
to its new home at 706 Mission near the corner of Mission and 3rd streets in the SOMA area of downtown San Francisco. It will
become the latest addition to the Yerba Buena Arts District and will join five other museums located in the area. The museum
will face out onto an urban plaza (Jessie Square) that it will share with the Contemporary Jewish Museum (Daniel Libeskind, 5
2006) and St. Patrick’s Catholic Church (1914). It is also part of the cultural complex that includes the Forum (Fumihiko Maki,
1993), the Theater (James Stewart Polshek, 1993) and the Museum of Modern Art (Mario Botta, 1995 and Snohetta, 2016)

The new museum will be 64,000 square feet total. It is anticipated that it will entirely fill its roughly 10,000 square foot site. It
will be similar in height to its immediate neighbor that is ten stories tall. The program is largely divided into four categories:
A. Public Non-Collection Space
B. Public Collection Space
C. Non-Public Collection Space
D. Non-Public Non-Collection Space

Integrated Building Studio
Due to the nature of the collection, issues of daylight control and the maintenance of strict temperatures will be of great importance and will be studied by students and discussed with outside consultants. Public access and the path of the museum-goer will be studied along with the movement of staff and museum exhibits that are part of the non-public (back-of-house) functions. The project that the students will design will be submitted to the ACSA Steel Competition as part of the Open Category. As such, the building structure will be steel as well as a portion of the façade. The use of steel should be understood not as a limiting factor but a place from which to innovate. Students will be given specific assignments to address structural and skin performance.

CCA Advanced Studio  - MOLE: Museum of the Latin Experience

Spring 2015 - Integrated Building Design Studio: BArch 508-02

Taught by Mark Donohue and Sandra Vivanco.

By Gabriel Ascanio & Kelvin Thengono.