Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The New York Times continues to take interest in the new art museum building in Davenport, Iowa.
The Figge Art Museum here, the first major American building by the British architect David Chipperfield, is a monument to that notion of good taste. Mr. Chipperfield has a knack for making Minimalism look fresh, and here he has designed a very pretty box.
A minimalist building is beautiful but won't provide much bang for the buck. A box does not translate well into an icon. Spectacle, such as that provided by Gehry's designs in Bilbao and L.A. or Calatrava's in Milwaukee are the key to instant impact. Other buildings that may be more beautiful yet understated can come later. I'm thinking of Columbus, Indiana (read more) here.

I saw a rendering recently of the Art Gallery of Ontario's new Gehry expansion, and it seems to be a "quieter" design than what we are accustomed to getting from Gehry. If we were to erect a new concert hall in Elgin now, perhaps Coop Himmelb(l)au or Daniel Libeskind will provide the most showstopping design. Maybe Zaha Hadid would do something spectacular also. I don't know. I don't think anybody will know until the city announces an international design competition and we can see some entries displayed at the GBL...

Read the article


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The iconic thing about the Figge will be the glass outer skin, set 4 feet away from the inner (outer?) wall around the entire building. I haven't seen anything quite like it.

7:24 PM  

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