Malba | Burle Marx | Nushi Muntaabski [English]

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Malba | Burle Marx



Project by Nushi Muntaabski & Cristina Schiavi

Design and production: Precious Stones.


When I was six years old my family moved to the corner of Figueroa Alcorta and Salguero, in a building that is the only survivor of its time in the entire block, it is a little blast from the past.

At that time the site now occupied by the plaza and the Malba Museum building had a very different geography. What is now the square was a place that belonged to Villalonga Furlong, a transport company, which the view from my balcony (facing the street Salguero) was quite gray and ugly. One day this place burned…
Everything turned into ashes, I keep still photos of the fire, because we were very scared, the heat was so strong that the glasses of out balcony were shattered.

Over time I began to see that the area was cleaned and construction trucks appeared. My father came a happy day and said “they are going to build a square and will be designed by Burle Marx.
I was 8 years old when my father told me he was excited because Burle Marx was an artist he admired,
With time a spiral figure began to appear, then they painted a huge mural in the background, were geometric figures such as mountains black, red, white and gray commuted.

Near the corner they planted a sculpture, I called her statue. It was an Inca Native: El Inca Garcilaso de la Vega.

We were all  happy at home because both my brothers, my parents and I enjoyed much that space. We used to spend the whole day, when we returned from school and there we stayed, biking around the spiral, sliding on the “batitubos” as we called them; up and down on a wonderful cylindrical shapes that made us exercise balance and dexterity. Inside was a sandbox, where we used to ate sandwiches my mother made us.

The good thing was we were protected in there, and my parents were watching us play from the balconies. I still remember how I waved from the eighth floor, seeing the smile on his face despite the distance.

My father spoke of “identity”, then I found out that the kapok was our national flower, and was a Brazilian who had taught me unintentionally, my father and Burle Marx, of course.

At night everything was transformed into something magical and mysterious. Because the light coming from the top of the painted wall, forming long shadows that transformed the spiral into a dragon tongue like shape, so we called it. We use to go there to have long chats with my mom, we walked our dog and it was at that time when she told me of her native Hungary. We took turns to come and sit close together as neighbors came spiraling entering their shadows projected on the wall as a giant… we thought that was fun and we laughed.

I’ll never forget those childhood magical moments. We moved again when I was 14.
I missed a lot that place, especially at first, because it was haven for the good and bad moments of my entire family.

Over time I learned that they had destroyed part of the Burle Marx, I called my dad to tell him and he was speechless… and muttered something like: that’s going to be a diplomatic problem someday. I did not understand why they did it. To this day I still do not understand.

Years passed and there appeared another building, close to the ground, the Malba Museum, which gave me the same joy that my father gave the square, unfortunately he had already died, but I know that he would have given the same happy feeling Because identity also had spoken.

Malba today is a symbol of the city, a symbol that is certainly about the project designed by Burle Marx in 1972. A space where you board the idea of ​​recreation, culture and leisure. In another harmony, but the same intention. Although one is a square and the other a museum.


The Malba this year celebrates 10 years of life. Among the changes and improvements is the possibility of redesigning the source that has the Malba in their access.

Not only for aesthetic but edilicia, urgent reforms.

They invite me to submit a project, for which I could not abstract from Burle Marx and history that is tied to the neighborhood, the site for the museum and my own history.

I call upon Cristina Schiavi, artist who is also in the museum’s collection, to partner with the new design of the space. She is a great friend and they share a taste for Burle Marx, were many meetings drawing in my studio, at home, looking for pictures of landscapes, sidewalks, and rooftops made by the Brazilian artist, to get closer to the aesthetics and stroke landscapes.

At one point we were surrounded by “rereading” of it. We focus on original plant of Peru Republic Square, and only that picture was awesome. And we began to disassemble, cut, redraw until you find three options that we liked a lot. Even were “water sources” and had their jets with many forms. It was hard work, among friends, but we never stop to think of the people who observe both the Esplanade and from neighboring buildings, something that always interested to this gentleman, the aerial view of his works.

After that I concentrated on the layout, dimensions, materials to be used. Gather Venetian mosaics, porcelain tiles, grouts and adhesives by small samples, assembling, playing.

Without intending also using all production materials Argentina. Another gesture recognized artist, working with the native, with what is produced, grown and manufactured in the country. Love that chance. And I was well underway.

Once the model of Malba armed with different design proposals Eduardo Costantini I meet a hot day of summer at the museum, in a moment in passing said – This should not say, but I would love to be a dry place. Costantini looked at me and said: ‘I said, laughing.

He listened intently, looked and studied everything with a critical eye and meticulous, three concepts discussed project that interested him: the playful, the community and expansion. Approved the project.

I left the meeting happy as ever, a dream took shape in the most desired: make a square, honor Burle Marx, working with a great artist / friend and above all a project designed for people, schools, tourists, artists and community-wide approaches the Malba to enjoy art in all its forms.

Nushi Muntaabski