Saturday, July 11, 2009

Minneapolis: The Guthrie

Prior to visiting the new Guthrie theater in Minneapolis by Jean Nouvel, I had criticized the building for looking too dark and scary. That is typically my critique of Nouvel buildings. Theaters are supposed to be dark...but on the outside? My recent trip to Minneapolis gave me an opportunity to see the theater first hand. I'd have to say picking Nouvel makes sense to me now. Nouvel's architecture has always been well represented in night renderings (Think the Torre Agbar in Barcelona, or the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris). Considering that most theater events are after sunset Nouvel seems an appropriate choice. I unfortunately didn't have my camera with me at night. So my exterior photos will probably leave you with my initial impression. (Here is a photo which best tells the story) My interior photos however will give you a feel of the night club type of atmosphere that exists in the other public spaces. Architectural Record has a pretty good history and slideshow and ArcSpace has a nice writeup which will explain the spaces much better than I have.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Los Angeles: High School # 9

The latest addition to downtown Los Angeles' Grand Avenue Arts District, High School #9 by Coop Himmelbau (or is it Himmelblau?), is bizarre. This was my second visit to the project, I visited this past summer thinking that they had a long way to go before completion. In fact, the project was nearly done. The official name of the school is The Central Los Angeles High School for the Visual and Performing Arts. It is located only a few blocks from the Disney Concert hall and seems to be a companion piece to the recently completed Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels; the two sit across the 101 Freeway from each other. With construction fence still surrounding the entire site, I was unable to wander around the campus, so can't yet really judge the building...but I will say the place looks scary. Nothing about this building says "school" to me, and it just looks cold. You can read more about the project at World Architecture News. I suppose we'll have to wait until it opens to give it a fair assessment.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Stuttgart: The New Porsche Museum

Technically in Zuffenhausen, the New Porsche Museum has been a few years in the making. I visited it under construction back in March of 2007 and figured it would have been done by this visit but a security guard told me it won't open until mid February. I don't think the Mercedes Museum took this long but I guess they aren't competing for fastest museum.

The museum is designed by Delugan Meissl Associated Architects out of Vienna, Austria. There are some cool renderings of the scheme at Automoto Portal.

One of my photos was hosted over at A Daily Dose of Architecture. This is a great architecture website updated daily for those who haven't heard of it.