Oh my…what a building, what a sculpture, what a space, what an experience! The power of place indeed.
Just two weeks after seeing his bridges in Dublin, I had the opportunity to visit the Santiago Calatrava-designed Milwaukee Museum of Art today. I had seen the building on a drive-by a few years ago, but this was my first time to see it both inside and out. The internet is awash with both images and verbiage about this wonderful space. I’ll only quote the dean of the school of architecture at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (and a member, along with our host, of the selection committee for the building) who told our tour group today,
“We got Calatrava when he was unknown and yet at the peak of his creative powers – sort of like the early Beatles, before they became superstars and started adding too many orchestrations.“
What you’ll see below is a series of photos showing the “flapping” of the beautiful white wings (really a sunscreen) from open to close. Extraordinary as that sounds, I was prepared for that sight. What I wasn’t prepared for was the beauty and gracefulness of the interior space. And I certainly wasn’t prepared to see the most elegant parking garage on the face of the planet (at least as I’ve seen it.)
This building opened shortly after 9/11, so much of the world’s attention was elsewhere. It has worn well over the decade and still remains a remarkable statement about the genius of an architect/engineer/artist and the vision of a community often described as industrial and conservative.
Enough rambling…enjoy the photos and, more importantly, consider a trip to Milwaukee to see this place.
More to come…