Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Milwaukee Art Museum

Quadracci Pavilion of the Milwaukee Art Museum, the only Calatrava building I’ve visited, has the unspeakable charm to me. The first time I was there, I was on a class trip and the pavilion just opened to the public. The incredible elegance of the structure and space took my breath away. I remember standing in the reception hall for minutes with my eyes fixed on the beautiful roof structure. The second time I was there with my parents and husband only a few days ago - the same sunny day, the same blue sky, of course the same shock by the stunning beauty of the design!

The suspended pedestrian bridge links downtown Milwaukee directly to the museum. The pavilion functions as a connector to the old museum, an energizer for art appreciation, and a new landmark for the city. It also enhances the view from both Mason street and the lakefront. The wing-like sunscreen opens up or closes down during the day to adjust the interior light and temperature. These movable wings just resemble a giant seagull resting by the lakeshore.

Always amazed by Calatrava’s organic form, innovative engineering and romantic imagination and sensitivity to the site –
Rather than just add something to the existing buildings, I also wanted to add something to the lakefront. I have therefore worked to infuse the building with a certain sensitivity to the culture of the lake - the boats, the sails and the always changing landscape. - Santiago Calatrava

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