Raw and provocative. Thinking out of the box. What should an art museum look like? Something that would whiff of a little notoriety, distinguish itself….. In the case of a new, out of the blue proposal for the Whitney Museum, its not often a distinguished architect would trash the “champ” like Cassius Clay and Sonny Liston. Its the architect “provocateur” .
New York architects Axis Mundi have re-imagined the Whitney Downtown Museum with a self-initiated proposal :A desire for column-free galleries led the architects to create a perimeter superstructure to contain the staircases, escalators, elevators, and mechanical rooms. This structural lattice allows the galleries to float freely, suspended like bridges, unimpeded by a typical grid structure. The lattice allows light to flood the building in unexpected and dramatic ways, heightening the visitor’s perception of the artwork and the city. Read More: http://www.evolo.us/architecture/new-whitney-museum-in-nyc-axis-mundi/
“Last time around Axis Mundi came up with a Vertical Neighborhood to replace Jean Nouvel’s controversial Tower Verre, and this time they’re trained their T-squares on the Meatpacking District—and Renzo Piano is in the crosshairs!…The hotly anticipated showdown between French starchitect Jean Nouvel and rakish upstart John Beckmann went down at the City Planning Commission today, at a public hearing to consider the transfer of air rights and zoning changes needed to build the Nouvel-designed Tower Verre, aka the MoMA Tower, aka 53 West 53rd Street. To refresh your memory, Nouvel’s incredibly tall and incredibly awesome hotel/apartments/galleries skyscraper is winding its way through the land-use review process….
…Some people think it’s way too big, including Beckmann, whose firm Axis Mundi unleashed a crazy rival design, the Vertical Neighborhood. Word came that Beckmann would present his concept to the City Planning Commission for shits and giggles (Nouvel’s design is the one actually commissioned, after all), and that he did. Nouvel, who has shown up to explain his vision in the past, turned up to lay what the French call “le smack down.” Read More: http://ny.curbed.com/tags/john-beckmann
Nouvel spoke eloquently about the proposed 1250′ tower—until he was cut off by the three-minute bell. Damn time limits! Is this any way to treat a Pritzker Prize winner? The next speaker: Beckmann. He presented his stack of boxes with some big picture boards, and declared that his scheme was a better alternative. Then he claimed that MoMA and Nouvel were “driving a stake through the heart of Manhattan.” The look on Nouvel’s face during Beckmann’s testimony was, it’s safe to say, classic. So it’s Jean versus John—who will come out on top? The troops for both sides lined up to give testimony and the Commission listened respectfully, but revealed little regarding which way they will vote. The next CPC review session is slated for August 3rd. Read More: http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2009/07/22/maninblack_jean_nouvel_attends_moma_tower_showdown.php#more a
At first he said that the purpose of these projects was not to win new work—the firm’s doing fine, thank you very much, having just started on a 6,000-square-foot apartment on the Upper West Side and finishing up a few others—or to attract attention. Later on in the conversation, he reconsidered. “Do we want to get noticed? Of course. Besides, it can’t hurt,” Mr. Beckmann said. It’s a very Web 2.0 approach to architecture….
..Mr. Beckmann said if he “ruffles a few feathers,” so be it
8220;I think the architecture profession is incredibly conservative. So yeah, in a way, I’m striking a poker into it. But really, some of these people are so boring. Maybe we’re taking a risk, but I think it’s worth it.” Amen, brother! Read More: http://www.observer.com/2010/real-estate/architect-provocateur
Form follows function – that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.
Frank Lloyd Wright
Read more: http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/f/franklloyd127722.html#ixzz1F8LlJwQH
Jennifer Williams interview 2009:
At the City Planning Commission on July 22 you stated that the current proposal by Jean Nouvel was “a glass spike driven into the heart of New York City.” What are your objections to Nouvel’s design?
First, let me say that I have no personal grudge with Mr. Nouvel. He’s an enormously talented architect. I do think, however, that his hand was forced to overreach on this one. It’s safe to say that the design was created in a period of what Alan Greenspan called “the era of irrational exuberance.”
Secondly, I think the “starchitect” infatuation has worn off, and the “more for me” period has hopefully passed. Perhaps we’ve all learned some important lessons. I think we’re entering a new era that’s going to be more about “us and we.”
But to answer your question directly: the scheme as currently planned has some prickly issues. The first of course is the enormous height, at 1250 feet. Mr. Nouvel declared (with a complete lack of irony) that he’d created the “missing piece” of the Manhattan skyline. He claims to be able to not only see what is lacking in the cityscape and iconography, but also simultaneously provide the solution. In his vision, I suspect there is no other solution.Read More: http://www.e-architect.co.uk/new_york/moma_tower_alternative_interview.htm