Project: Archaeology Museum

Architects: Barclay & Crousse

Location: Ica, Peru

Area: 1170.0 m2

Project Year: 2016


Nothing fits in South American deserts better than red pigmented concrete. Archaeological museum in Ica, Peru designed by Lima based architect duo Barclay & Crousse is exactly like that. The straight lines of the building creates dynamic mood with the desert background. The colors are tangled in the sand and the sunset is reflected in rectangular stained glass windows.

The Museum of Julio C Tello stands at the entrance to the Paracas National Reserve, on exactly the same site as its predecessor, which was ruined during an earthquake in 2007. This location is in close proximity to the Great Paracas Necropolis – the oldest archaeological site in the region where, in the 1920s, explorer Julio C Tello discovered burial sites over 2,000 years old. These sites provided the exhibits for the museum.


The design of the building belongs to Lima-based architects Duos, Sandra Barclay and Jean Pierre Crousse. The facades of the building are polished concrete and faded red color.

“The exposed concrete and polished cement that constitute its materiality, blends with the neighbouring red dunes, the patina left by builders in the polished cement give to the museum a ceramic look that resembles the pre-Columbian ceramics that are exposed inside.”




The museum is divided in two parts – one containing the exhibition galleries and conservation areas, and another housing education spaces. A single corridor, described by the architects as a crack, separates them. On the southern side of the building, a row of four boxy windows project through the facade. These allow light to enter, but offer protection from direct sunlight. Other details include a vibrant blue wall, which marks the building’s entrance.

Inside the museum, is explored a seemingly contradictory hybridization between the labyrinthine spatiality and spiral path used by the ancient Peruvians and contemporary spatiality, smooth and transparent.



Author: Nanuka Zaalishvili

Source: Dezeen, Archdaily



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