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  #21  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 8:01 AM
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I suppose I can appreciate the fact that some people are in love with this structure. I can even submit that there is perhaps something about the structure that my untrained eyes simply miss. What I do not understand, however, is why, if one is not a fan of this structure, they are deemed laymen who simply 'can't wrap their feeble minds around the genius of it'. Why can't I just not like the damn thing?
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  #22  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 4:28 PM
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I'm actually on the fence on this one. I like how it's underground and has a minimal (kind of) impact on the grounds, I like some of the interior elements (especially the T columns), and I like the thought that went into the natural light and everything. But it's too deconstructivist. It's almost like the architect's biggest concern was trying to make it look like it didn't have a plan. It's trying too hard to get noticed, and succeeds. But not in a good way, the exterior is ugly as sin. That white will get dirty real quick, and it does resemble those storage pod things way too much. There's absolutely no reason why edgy modern architecture absolutely must NOT have any right angles or simple, straight lines every now and then. Instead of "creating dialogue" with the old building, the new addition is like the architectural equivalent of a 17-year old going out and getting a tongue piercing and wearing black eyeliner to spite his parents. It's emo architecture, it wants the attention and thinks it's cool to not be understood.

Renzo Piano's addition to the Art Institute does a better job at blending modern architecture with the neo-classical. And it doesn't look like it's full of used furniture.
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  #23  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 4:42 PM
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The evolution of my reaction:
Rendering 1- Interesting reaction to the existing portion of the museum.
Rendering 2- "That looks like a mass-storage unit."
Rendering 3- I loved the bottom two thirds and how it interacts with the ground/reflecting pool, but thought that some sort of horizontally oriented windows along the top would break up the awkward, top-heavy look.
Rendering 4-(interior) Amazing. Beautifully lit, perfect for viewing art.
Rendering 5- The alignment of the buildings embedded in the hills makes for a great effect, but it still looks a bit like a mass-storage unit.
Rendering 6- From a distance, with the vertical stripes less obvious, it looks amazing.

So what it comes down to for me is the vertical striation. I wouldn't call this the most anticipated, but I like it a lot. My first reaction was sort of a lurch, but, upon further inspection, I'm sold on the beauty of the design. I'm just not crazy about the material/orientation of material. I think a nice, clean, flat face would be absolutely stunning.
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  #24  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 6:30 PM
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I agree with the sentiment that the visibility of the striations does have a negative effect, giving it an almost vinyl siding look. In this original model, they are non-existent. It looks completely different

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  #25  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 6:48 PM
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Here are a few interior shots courtesy of Flickr













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  #26  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 7:23 PM
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Okay I'm still missing the "genius" of it after seeing those indoor shots. It just looks like an airport terminal to me.
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  #27  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 7:34 PM
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Okay, the interior is supposed to be so splendiferous that it makes up for the outside looking like a glorified trailer. The inside is colorless and lifeless and doesn't make up for a damn thing.

But, what do I know -- I'm just a member of the public. We're just the ones who have to use these buildings, so what do we know? Certainly not as much as all the architects who went to school and everything. When architects get pissy at people who call them on their uninspired and dull designs, I'm reminded very much of your average campus radical. I'm sure anyone who has been to college remembers them. They were always blathering on about what was best for The People, which in reality translated to "what I and a bunch of my friends think is best for The People."
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  #28  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 8:36 PM
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These photos were from January and the building doesn't open until June, so there may be more done to the interior. Also, there is obviously no art on display, which will significantly change the appearance. This building is about showcasing works of art, not the structure itself.
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  #29  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 8:46 PM
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Okay, the interior is supposed to be so splendiferous that it makes up for the outside looking like a glorified trailer. The inside is colorless and lifeless and doesn't make up for a damn thing.
It's a museum- the inside is supposed to be neutrally and uniformly colored so as not to distract from the works of art that are going to hang in it. It'll look very different come June.
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  #30  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 9:19 PM
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While I would say this may not be Holl's most successful building I do commend the Nelson-Atkins Museum for commissioning a daring piece like this which has obviously been abhorred by a large percentage of the public. Architecture is just like Modern Art in that it may not appeal to your predisposed 'tastes,' but that's not exactly what it's meant to do anyway. Modernism is about going beyond mere aesthetics towards a reconceptualization of art and buildings themselves. If the public can't appreciate it because they don't want to give it a chance then it's their decision. No one can force them to. But architecture is a very enlightened pursuit and it isn't only about forms. It's a thinking discipline and it does require patience to try to understand it. Part of the reason there is a divide between architects and the public stems from the fact that it takes yearsto learn how to design buildings. Philip Johnson is famous for the aphorism that 'Life for an architect begins at 45.'

But, having said that, since so few people really appreciate Modern Architecture, it is astonishing that even a few exciting buildings get built in America at all. That is why I support these architects even when their buildings may not be 100% successful when realized. I think the fruits of their years of work have meaning and it would be a shame if no art benefactors or cultural institutions would provide them the opportunity to see their ideas built.
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  #31  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 9:24 PM
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I love the Nelson-Atkins, but can't say that this addition is worthy of their collection. I have to agree with others that think this may be an interesting piece of "performance art" but it doesn't make for a beautiful building. I do think architects sometimes show a complete disregard of the lay public and this is an example. I wouldn't have liked it if it were neo-classical schlock either, but surely they could come up with something more elegant, interesting, and (dare I say it?) beautiful.
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  #32  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 9:36 PM
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But, having said that, since so few people really appreciate Modern Architecture, it is astonishing that even a few exciting buildings get built in America at all. That is why I support these architects even when their buildings may not be 100% successful when realized. I think the fruits of their years of work have meaning and it would be a shame if no art benefactors or cultural institutions would provide them the opportunity to see their ideas built.
It's not about that. I just don't like it. The Milwaukee Museum of Art? Love it. Turning Torso? Astounding. This? I just don't like it. Simple as that.
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  #33  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 9:40 PM
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oh dear oh dear oh dear. Where to start. THE BUILDING IS F*CKING AMAZING!!!!!

More reasoned approach. This is truly an amazing building, and to fully appreciate it requires experiencing it. As a former KCitian and museum aficiando, I have been following this pretty closely. I had some small doubts early on, but not now. I last visited in October (and will see it again next weekend) and though I haven't been inside, I sure have pressed my nose to the glass (the clear glass). The exterior experience is amazing. You have to understand how the buildings relate to the old Nelson-Atkins (N-A) building and the 20+ acre KC Sculpture Park. Look for a book about it this summer called "Stone and Feather" or something like it. The title is what the the architectural program is about. Inward looking (N-A) and outward looking (the addition, called the Bloch Building btw). Heavy (N-A) versus light (Bloch). etc. etc.

I could write for pages about it, but suffice to say, when I walked around and on top of it, I would have to stop to catch my breath from saying wow so much. The massing of the lenses is unbelievable. They do tumble down the hill. I was there on a rainy day and the glass was silky and shimmered. I haven't even seen it at night, but friends tell me it is magical.

The way it relates to the N-A is remarkable. If you stand in plaza on the north side of the museum looking to south, the void between the two buildings pulls you in. Your feet just start going. Wonderful experience to walk among the art and landscape and buildings.

***Read the METROPOLIS article. It will give greater understanding of the project and what they are trying to do. Be sure to look at the photos of the galleries. This will be a successful venue for the display of art. It will not have the problem of Liebeskind's DAM since the walls are vertical. It will have a mix of natural and artificial light that is not often seen in museums. For all the wizardry, it was designed to showcase art, and by early accounts, does so exceedingly well.

For those who asked how can it be most anticipated when they haven't even heard of it, I attribute it partially to "flyover" effect and partially to not following the work of Holl. As to the "flyover" effect, did you even know that the N-A is one of the finer museums in the US?? Along with the addition the museum is re-installling almost the entire collection, and rethinking how art and decorative art should be presented.

It also anticipated because it is considered the most fully realized Holl building to date. He has been given a budget and artistic support that has enabled him to pursue light in a way he has not had. The NYTimes has him saying that this is the fullest expression of his thinking about architecture.

Sorry for the length of the post and the scattered impressions. I urge everyone to wait until the see more photos and see if it succeeds as gallery space.
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  #34  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 10:01 PM
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It's not about that. I just don't like it. The Milwaukee Museum of Art? Love it. Turning Torso? Astounding. This? I just don't like it. Simple as that.
Feel free to not like it. I only ask that people consider it before dismissing it as 'hideous, confused, deconstructivist (which it isn't), trailer-like, etc.'
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  #35  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 10:12 PM
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While I would say this may not be Holl's most successful building I do commend the Nelson-Atkins Museum for commissioning a daring piece like this which has obviously been abhorred by a large percentage of the public. Architecture is just like Modern Art in that it may not appeal to your predisposed 'tastes,' but that's not exactly what it's meant to do anyway. Modernism is about going beyond mere aesthetics towards a reconceptualization of art and buildings themselves. If the public can't appreciate it because they don't want to give it a chance then it's their decision. No one can force them to.
deck the holl with brays of horrid.
this is a total reconceptualization of the "u-store it" facility.
truly the nicest one i have ever seen.
you can live in them for 50 bucks a month.
just pee out back.
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  #36  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 11:11 PM
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Originally Posted by KCtoBrooklyn View Post
These photos were from January and the building doesn't open until June, so there may be more done to the interior. Also, there is obviously no art on display, which will significantly change the appearance. This building is about showcasing works of art, not the structure itself.
A couple of people have said though, that the interior makes up for the exterior. If the inside is featureless by design, and is as plain and boring as the outside, how does it make up for anything, art or not?
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  #37  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2007, 11:23 PM
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But, having said that, since so few people really appreciate Modern Architecture, it is astonishing that even a few exciting buildings get built in America at all. That is why I support these architects even when their buildings may not be 100% successful when realized. I think the fruits of their years of work have meaning and it would be a shame if no art benefactors or cultural institutions would provide them the opportunity to see their ideas built.
No, what's truly astonishing is that despite the fact that modernism is reviled and hated nearly universally, architects refuse to consider that there is a world outside their Gehry-inspired, shapeless, formless high-concept ivory tower, and that they're not living in it. They absolutely insist on building boring and ugly structures, refuse to acknowledge that they're boring or ugly, and then play the more-enlightened-than-thou card and tell us their buildings aren't boring and ugly; we, the members of the unwashed masses, are just too stupid to appreciate them.
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  #38  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2007, 12:47 AM
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i worry it will look cheap in the light of day.
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  #39  
Old Posted Mar 19, 2007, 1:40 AM
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Okay, the interior is supposed to be so splendiferous that it makes up for the outside looking like a glorified trailer. The inside is colorless and lifeless and doesn't make up for a damn thing.

But, what do I know -- I'm just a member of the public. We're just the ones who have to use these buildings, so what do we know? Certainly not as much as all the architects who went to school and everything. When architects get pissy at people who call them on their uninspired and dull designs, I'm reminded very much of your average campus radical. I'm sure anyone who has been to college remembers them. They were always blathering on about what was best for The People, which in reality translated to "what I and a bunch of my friends think is best for The People."
You were much more eloquent than I. That's what I was getting at.
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Old Posted Mar 19, 2007, 2:45 AM
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No, what's truly astonishing is that despite the fact that modernism is reviled and hated nearly universally, architects refuse to consider that there is a world outside their Gehry-inspired, shapeless, formless high-concept ivory tower, and that they're not living in it. They absolutely insist on building boring and ugly structures, refuse to acknowledge that they're boring or ugly, and then play the more-enlightened-than-thou card and tell us their buildings aren't boring and ugly; we, the members of the unwashed masses, are just too stupid to appreciate them.
If you want to throw out the issue of beauty certainly no one can attest that beauty is universally defined. I find that the light captured in Holl's panels is beautiful. I find that the juxtaposition of the pavilions on the terrrain is beautiful. I find that the dialogue between the new and old building is beautiful. This is just my own vision, if you see no beauty in it then it's fine.

Actually, since most everyone on here is a fan of old buildings and neighborhoods you know what it feels like to talk to people who can't see the beauty of the city. You criticize them for moving to the burbs, you wish there was a way to change their minds. You wish they could see what you see, the sometimes intangible beauty of old urban environments, the benefits the city provides. You would say that you are more enlightened to these issues than those suburbanites and they would think you were crazy. They would say 'Oh, we're just the masses and you're too haughty to live in the suburbs.' Anyone see a parallels to what we're talking about right now? The issues aren't really that different.
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