Monday, November 21, 2005

ARCHITECTURE: De Young Museum (Version 2.0)

Artful Architecture

This summer I was in Rome and was impressed with the powerful and seductive architecture of so many of the churches and building structures. It makes you reflect on American architecture and the sparseness of truly inspiring works. In the bay area there are a few to mention, but the new “De Young” museum is truly a powerful expression of modern architecture.

I have been there twice after the long awaited re-opening and it reflects the integration of art, architecture and nature. Developed by the Pritzker Prize-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron (Swiss Firm) it took 5 years and $190 million to complete. Upon entering, you discover the outside invites you to explore its many perspectives, sculptures, gardens and sitting areas. Nature Artist Andy Goldsworthy (Documentary > Rivers & Tides) was commissioned to create one of the installations outside which was inspired by California’s fault lines and large plate systems. The outside copper is brown but is expected to weather into more of greenish over the years. A tower which you take an elevator up, rises above Golden Gate Park, and displays the many views and angles of this location. These views are not as common to us, as there are not many high lookout points at that end of San Francisco. This museum has one of the worlds best Oceananic Exhibits showing artifacts from Island Cultures.

The measure of a museum’s success is whether it enhances the viewing of art and inspires as a piece of art in and of itself. This museum does this and over time will build a reputation that is world class (my prediction).

Floor by Floor Map
Video Tour

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