You go in.

I’m gonna check out this build­ing.

Pasatiempo - - Cd Reviews - Paul Wei­de­man I The New Mex­i­can

The Fred­eric C. Hamil­ton Build­ing, ar­chi­tect Daniel Libe­skind’s au­da­cious 2006 ad­di­tion to the Den­ver Art Mu­seum, looks like a fu­tur­is­tic space­ship de­signed af­ter frac­tured ice­bergs. “Well, it is the 21st cen­tury,” Libe­skind af­firmed in a tele­phone in­ter­view from New York. “The func­tional mu­seum is chang­ing. It’s more than just some­thing for the elite. It’s about cre­at­ing new kinds of en­coun­ters be­tween peo­ple and art.”

His de­sign for the Den­ver project is one of 17 build­ings fea­tured in Mu­se­ums in the 21st Cen­tury: Con­cepts, Projects, Build­ings. The trav­el­ing ex­hi­bi­tion opens Fri­day, Jan. 29, at the New Mex­ico Mu­seum of Art. It was de­vel­oped by Suzanne Greub, di­rec­tor of Art Cen­tre Basel, Switzer­land. The cen­ter and the ar­chi­tects of the se­lected build­ings— there were 27 in the orig­i­nal Basel show— col­lab­o­rated on the in­stal­la­tion’s as­sem­blage of ar­chi­tec­tural sketches, mod­els, and com­puter ren­der­ings.

In in­for­ma­tion pro­vided for the show, Libe­skind says the ma­te­ri­als for the Den­ver Art Mu­seum build­ing “are those closely re­lat­ing to the ex­ist­ing con­text (lo­cal stone) as well as in­no­va­tive new ma­te­ri­als (ti­ta­nium) ... this ar­chi­tec­ture has an or­ganic con­nec­tion to the pub­lic at large and to those as­pects of ex­pe­ri­ence that are also in­tel­lec­tual, emo­tional, and sen­sual.”

Among Libe­skind’s other projects are the Jewish Mu­seum in Berlin; the MGM Mirage/DubaiWorld CityCenter in Las Ve­gas; and the re­de­vel­op­ment mas­ter plan for the­World Trade Cen­ter in New York.

Many of his most dar­ing build­ing de­signs fol­lowed rev­o­lu­tions in new ma­te­ri­als and en­gi­neer­ing and in com­puter-aided de­sign, yet like many ar­chi­tects, he still dreams of fan­tas­tic build­ings that may be im­pos­si­ble to build.

“It’s not just ex­per­i­men­tal; it’s about ideas; it’s about so­cial ideas; it’s about com­mu­nity; it’s about cul­ture,” he said. “And I think mu­se­ums, in or­der to re­tain their po­si­tion in the free world, have to also be in­no­va­tive, so it’s not even a lux­ury to dream and think. And of course, I think an­other im­por­tant thing is that, par­tic­u­larly in a glob­al­ized world, where ev­ery­thing and ev­ery­where things are the same, the site-spe­cific— the kind of unique, un­prece­dented spa­tial ex­pe­ri­ence that can­not be got­ten in any other form than by be­ing there— is even more in de­mand.

“Of course, as an ar­chi­tect, I dream of new ma­te­ri­als and new pos­si­bil­i­ties. The buz­zword of sus­tain­abil­ity is more than just be­ing more care­ful with re­sources. Mem­ory is an im­por­tant part of sus­tain­abil­ity. Only what is mem­o­rable is truly ul­ti­mately sus­tain­able; oth­er­wise it’s for­get­table and dis­pos­able.”

An­other out­landish build­ing in the mu­seum show is Peter Cook and Colin Fournier’s gi­gan­tic blue stom­ach, the Kun­sthaus Graz in Aus­tria. “This is a great case where they’ve done some­thing in­cred­i­bly dif­fer­ent in a re­ally his­toric neigh­bor­hood, but it works,” said Merry Scully, cu­ra­tor of the New Mex­ico Mu­seum of Art ver­sion of the Basel show. “And it was re­ceived well. They call it the ‘friendly alien.’ ” Ac­cord­ing to a text panel that ac­com­pa­nies the Kun­sthaus model, the build­ing’s blue-acrylic skin and “biomor­phic” ge­om­e­try dou­bles as “an elec­tronic dis­play sys­tem that can be pro­grammed to show text, fixed im­ages, an­i­ma­tions, or video.”

Among the other show stand­outs are the Eye­beam Mu­seum of Art and Tech­nol­ogy in New York by Diller Scofidio + Ren­fro, New York; the Uni­ver­sity of Michi­gan Mu­seum of Art ex­pan­sion by Al­liedWorks Ar­chi­tec­ture, Port­land, Ore­gon; the Nel­son-Atkins Mu­seum of Art ex­pan­sion in Kansas City by Steven Holl Ar­chi­tects; the Mu­se­um­sin­sel

Berlin by David Chip­per­field Ar­chi­tects, Lon­don, and oth­ers; Zen­trum Paul Klee in Bern, Switzer­land, by Renzo Pi­ano; and the New Acrop­o­lis Mu­seum in Athens by Bernard Tschumi Ar­chi­tects, New York.

Usu­ally, think­ing about ar­chi­tec­ture, you want to see a build­ing. You’ll have to ad­just that ex­pec­ta­tion in an en­counter with Tadao Ando’s 2004 Chichu Art Mu­seum in Naoshima, Ka­gawa, Ja­pan. The fa­cil­ity was largely built un­der­ground to pro­tect views in the sur­round­ing na­tional park. Vis­i­tors ar­rive and de­part by boat.

“His­tor­i­cally, Ja­pan is an agrar­ian na­tion, then it be­came an in­dus­tri­al­ized na­tion, but they’ve never lost that con­nec­tion with place,” said Christo­pher Mead, Re­gents Pro­fes­sor in The Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico School of Ar­chi­tec­ture + Plan­ning. “Ando is con­sciously re­turn­ing to that in a very em­phatic way, and he wants mu­se­ums that ex­ist only as a place; you can’t see them from the out­side.”

“What in­ter­ests me about Ja­panese ar­chi­tec­ture and mu­se­ums is that in Ja­pan they have fig­ured out how to re­late their tra­di­tions with the mod­ern world,” Mead said. “You look at the late-20th-and early-21stcen­tury build­ings and they are ab­so­lutely mod­ern, but at the same time they are ab­so­lutely and un­am­bigu­ously Ja­panese, be­cause they speak to pro­foundly Ja­panese ideas about space and build­ing tra­di­tions.”

“In New Mex­ico, we tend to think you can ei­ther re­spect the tra­di­tions or you can do mod­ern ar­chi­tec­ture. We set it up as black and white, but the Ja­panese ar­chi­tects don’t see it that way. I think they’re very crit­i­cal of West­ern habits of di­alec­ti­cal think­ing, and they’re much more in­ter­ested in how the two co­ex­ist,” he said. In con­junc­tion with the exhibit, Mead presents a lec­ture on April 9 ti­tled “A Mat­ter of Place: Mod­ern Ja­panese Mu­se­ums.”

“Ar­chi­tects like Ando and Yoshio Taniguchi [de­signer of an ad­di­tion to the Mu­seum of Mod­ern Art in New York, which is also part of the cur­rent mu­seum in­stal­la­tion] have worked over here in the United States, but I have a sense that we know them through the wrong end of the lens. I want to take it back to Ja­pan and look at where they’re com­ing from.”

In­trigu­ing build­ing sketches pre­sented in Mu­se­ums in the 21st Cen­tury in­clude a vi­brant wa­ter­color sketch by Rafael Viñoly for the Nasher Mu­seum at Duke Uni­ver­sity in Durham, North Carolina, and a se­ries of scrib­bly draw­ings by Frank Gehry for the (un­built) new wing at Cor­co­ran Gallery of Art in­Wash­ing­ton, D.C. The Cor­co­ran project would be the lat­est in Gehry’s se­ries of swoopy, ti­ta­nium-clad struc­tures that be­gan with the 1997 Guggenheim Mu­seum in Bil­bao, Spain. “I think Bil­bao is a fan­tas­tic build­ing, one of a kind, and it did great things for the city,” said ar­chi­tec­ture critic and his­to­rian Marc Treib. “But then every­one wanted one.”

In a con­ver­sa­tion about boldly non­tra­di­tional de­signs by “star­chi­tects” like Gehry, Libe­skind, and Rem Kool­haas, Treib said, “My take is ba­si­cally that a lot of th­ese build­ings are like James Bond films. The plots are the same and you just vary the spe­cial ef­fects, then ev­ery­body has to outdo ev­ery­body else.” Treib, who gives a talk in Santa Fe on March 26, is pro­fes­sor emer­i­tus of ar­chi­tec­ture at the Uni­ver­sity of Cal­i­for­nia, Berke­ley. His books in­clude Sanc­tu­ar­ies of Span­ish New Mex­ico (1993), A Guide to the Gar­dens of Ky­oto (1980, re­vised in 2003, with Ron Her­man), and Spa­tial Re­call: Mem­ory in Ar­chi­tec­ture and Land­scape (2009).

“There are es­sen­tially two schools of thought on this,” he said. “One is that the best place for con­tem­po­rary art is a neu­tral space, like an old ware­house. The other ar­gu­ment is that there should be some­thing of ar­chi­tec­tural char­ac­ter that both at­tracts peo­ple and en­hances the ex­pe­ri­ence. That idea says the build­ing should be part of the art, al­though that of­ten has the dan­ger of over­whelm­ing it.”

Kun­sthaus Graz, Aus­tria, by Peter Cook and Colin Fournier Fac­ing page, the Den­ver Art Mu­seum’s Fred­er­ick C. Hamil­ton Build­ing, de­signed by Daniel Libe­skind

Atrium stair­way at the Den­ver Art Mu­seum; the cir­cu­lar mir­rors are part of Tat­suo Miyajima’s Engi in­stal­la­tion; DAM im­ages cour­tesy Stu­dio Daniel Libe­skind

New Acrop­o­lis Mu­seum, Athens, Greece, de­sign by Bernard Tschumi Left, Cen­tre Pom­pi­dou-Metz, Lor­raine, France, de­sign by Shigeru Ban and Jean de Gastines

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.