Thursday, October 26, 2006
Can't wait to get back to Denver to see the new Daniel Libeskind addition to the Denver Art Museum. Incredible! The other buildings are iconic and "sculptural" themselves but look at this?! This thing looks like it erupted from the ground. POW!
Just started reading Libeskind's "Breaking Ground" and he described how while airborn over the Denver Rockies he was inspired by the geography and forces of the earth that shaped Denver - craggy mountains and plains. And looking at this building, he sure brought his point home. The things looks like it's in motion. It almost feels like there are forces building to push the pieces into a different composition. Next thing you know SNAP! Earthquake.
Also in his book, Libeskind talks about how buildings should evoke an emotional response and that a building can in and of itself change a life (hopefully for the better). AMEN!!! I've believed (and still cling to) this truth since I first transferred into architec-torture from pre-med psych in college. It is refreshing to hear this. It is energizing.
We don't need another hero?! I say we do. Sorry Tina. No offense.
Also in the book Liebeskind contrasted his work with the Modern masters of the mid-20th century saying his architecture is more about the feeling rather than hiding feelings under a composed and regular-I-dare-say design. Don't quite agree with Daniel on this one. Mies and the idealism of early Modernist movement express powerful feeling with very little noise. Not ready to ditch, "Less is more".
Still though, love the building. I feel changed already.
Monday, September 11, 2006
Thursday, September 07, 2006
When I was a kid I thought the cloverleaf at highways 290 and 90/94 captured my imagination. Even today, it is pretty incredible. A lot of cars and people get around it and somehow don't get tangled up. All those ramps criss and crossing. But the fascination has worn off. Mainly because it fences off the neighborhoods of the University of Illinois at Chicago to the southwest (upperleft in the pic) and Greektown northwest of the intersection (upper right) from the Loop and the rest of Downtown Chicago. What makes a city a great place is mixing it up. The highways that make the cloverleaf are only no-mans-land-barrenness.
People are cut off from one another.
I know the cars and their highways are necessary to get people to and fro. But why do we have to live around a car and their highways? Why do we have to design around it? We need to put the car in it's place. Let's drive IT rather than let it run us over.
There is an opporunity here to reconnect what was lost. Mend the breached connectivity between Greektown and the Loop and UIC with something people can really walk on. Something people can enjoy. New land. New habitat.
Why not BURY THE CLOVERLEAF?
It was done in the Big Dig in Boston. Land was made where there wasn't any. Daley did it with Millenium Park. Kids, and non-kids, playing in a fountain. Priceless. With the Modern Wing of the Art Institute, we're covering up rail road tracks by building a place where people can stroll in awe of masterpieces that enrich us.
So lets bury the cloverleaf. With what? a park, mall, condo, office, stadium, ... a bean
I think the place should be a safe haven. A place to reflect. A place to rejuvenate. A high place. But more on that later ...