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New Grand Rapids Art Museum


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I gotta say, this building is shaping up to be ugly.

I drove some visiting New Yorkers by the museum this weekend. They weren't impressed but didn't hate it.

Me? I find it ugly. Can't help it but louvers ruin (for me) the one great feature: gobs of glass.

I wondering if the effect would have better if the louvers were put behind the glass on the inside, rather than in front of the glass on the outside. With the latter, some refection off the glass would have masked the louvers being there at all. They just stick out being on the outside like that.

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Looks like steam. Could be one of the steam fountain features malfunctioning or maybe they blow the lines out before the winter.

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Finally got a chance to see it in person. Wow, you would think a bomb had gone off on Monroe Center with the amount of hubris in this thread. :D I have to agree with the architects on this one that it still looks pretty good.

Anyway, I don't think the 20' of louvers they have added looks that bad. There is still glass on South and North (Monroe Center) side of the "front" area, so it looks good to me. You can tell by how finished the glass is on those sides that they will stay "louver-free":

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This is new. I believe this will be the "front" door main entrance (?)

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Forms for the stairs should be going in soon:

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Looks A LOT like the rendering to me :dontknow: :

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Finally got a chance to see it in person. Wow, you would think a bomb had gone off on Monroe Center with the amount of hubris in this thread. :D I have to agree with the architects on this one that it still looks pretty good.

Anyway, I don't think the 20' of louvers they have added looks that bad. There is still glass on South and North (Monroe Center) side of the "front" area, so it looks good to me. You can tell by how finished the glass is on those sides that they will stay "louver-free":

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im sry but that looks horrendous... maybe when its all done itll be better but it went from bad to good to bad again... it seems "lifeless" in an area that has the most life in all of DTGR

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im sry but that looks horrendous... maybe when its all done itll be better but it went from bad to good to bad again... it seems "lifeless" in an area that has the most life in all of DTGR

I'm sorry, but I disagree. It's not even open yet, so the "pulse" can hardly be taken yet. And most people won't see it from that view. I had to climb on top of a hill, inside the line of trees, and directly across RPC from it. Most people will see it from the corner of MC and Pearl, or from MC, or through the trees planted around RPC. In fact, it's difficult to even get a good unobstructed shot of the museum due to all the trees.

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I think it's much ado about nothing, and I'm the king of anti-dead spaces, but I can certainly understand why some people might not like it. It is certainly unconventional.

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I don't think the louvers are not that bad looking ether. If anything that add some interesting texture to the building. Wait until the landscaping goes in. That will really tie everything together. Watching a building of this nature coming together requires a bit of patience.

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I'll agree the building looks better without the louvers, but it still isn't bad from the front. From the pedestrian angle, the building is still very excellent.

Wait until it's backlit, i bet it will look even more fantastic!

I love this building!

A lot of these criticisms seem to be of the, in-the-box type.

It's an engineering marvel, and an architectural masterpiece in DT.

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The louvers look good on the RPC side. Unlike an exhaust vent you can still see through the windows, and you will be able to see even more so once there are lights on inside (day or night). My problem with the Ottawa side isn't actually the louvers, but that the whole facade seems to lack the depth and interest of the other three sides.

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HAVEN'T WE ALL LEARNED ANYTHING ABOUT MODERN DESIGN, YOU CAN'T MAKE A JUDGEMENT UNTIL IT IS COMPLETE AND THE GRAND OPENING TAKES PLACE. That's it just wait and see.

Since when "just wait and see" a good response to any design? What if it is still ugly at the grand opening? Then do we just shrug and say 'whoops'?

Edited by GRCentro
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HAVEN'T WE ALL LEARNED ANYTHING ABOUT MODERN DESIGN, YOU CAN'T MAKE A JUDGEMENT UNTIL IT IS COMPLETE AND THE GRAND OPENING TAKES PLACE. That's it just wait and see.

I'm perfectly capable of making a judgement. This sucker might be an engineering marvel, it might be the best executed concrete box in the history of the world, but in the end it's just that - a concrete box with some glass disguised as exhaust vents.

Like I said a while ago - I think the final details on this building end up obscuring those parts of the design that are the most, well, human. It's a big friggin' concrete mausoleum. It might be great on the inside; I'll withhold judgement there. but on the outside, I think it keeps getting worse.

Here's what I've learned about modern design: Some of it is good, some of it is middle of the road, and some of it is pure crap. GRAM (for me) has dropped to somewhere between middle of the road and pure crap.

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How about everyone take their respective corners and cool off a bit. What's done is done. Nothing on the museum's design can be changed at this point.

BTW: Anyone know if the louvers (res) are adjustable? That would be cool if they automatically tilted as the sun lowered in the sky.

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Correct me if i'm wrong....but didn't one of the early designs have a lot of wood/greenery in the design. Then the architect changed, or something like that, and that feature was lost. If the louvers were not a color that is so often used for exhaust vents and the repetitive gray was a teak wood or some other material I might like the feature.

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Correct me if i'm wrong....but didn't one of the early designs have a lot of wood/greenery in the design. Then the architect changed, or something like that, and that feature was lost. If the louvers were not a color that is so often used for exhaust vents and the repetitive gray was a teak wood or some other material I might like the feature.

I believe I've read something like this as well. and i agree with the assessment of the materials - as it stands now, the museum strikes me as to sterile, too industrial, too... something. I can see how it could be a lot more beautiful and impressive, but the materials used just make it feel cold to me.

And I apologize if I came off a bit snippy in my last post. Not my intention. Just giving my honest opinion.

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Correct me if i'm wrong....but didn't one of the early designs have a lot of wood/greenery in the design. Then the architect changed, or something like that, and that feature was lost. If the louvers were not a color that is so often used for exhaust vents and the repetitive gray was a teak wood or some other material I might like the feature.

Yes, the original design was by Munkenbeck+Marshall out of the U.K., and had large timbers over the front area. One of the principles actually posted here a couple of times a year or two ago. They were "let go" from the project I believe, and wHY brought in.

I would not hold out any hope for that design element to come back (just strike it from your mind, it never existed). :P

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HAVEN'T WE ALL LEARNED ANYTHING ABOUT MODERN DESIGN, YOU CAN'T MAKE A JUDGEMENT UNTIL IT IS COMPLETE AND THE GRAND OPENING TAKES PLACE.

Oh yeah, I forgot. That's what we're supposed to do for the Super Mercrapo on Leonard as well. :good:

Edited by Nitro
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Bam!! Right in the kisser. :rofl:

Anyway I think that Super Mer-stink-o is an edifice that everybody knew was going to redefine the word "ugly" right from the get-go. In contrast, the new GRAM is just one of the those puzzlers that will boggle the mind until it's all together and ready for its grand opening.

Oh yeah, I forgot. That's were we're supposed to do for the Super Mercrapo on Leonard as well. :good:
Edited by tamias6
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It's already been said but...

I talked to somebody from design plus today and the reason for the louvers is that the windows can only allow 10% of the sunlight through to avoid damaging the paintings, so i guess they are necessary. And personally, i think they look fine.

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The louvers don't make too much of a difference to me. The RPC and Monroe Center sides look pretty good, at least from a pedestrian standpoint. I really don't like the Ottawa side. I know the back of the building had to be somewhere, but.. blech.

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Oh yeah, I forgot. That's what we're supposed to do for the Super Mercrapo on Leonard as well. :good:

I don't know if that would be apples to apples Nitro. GRAM was designed by architects, SuperMercrapo was drawn with crayon by a five year old...

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Does anyone know the timeline? When is it supposed to be finished?

MK

I thought there was going to be a "Grand Gala" for the donors at the end of September (9-29-07 seems to ring a bell). It will be open to the public starting in the beginning of October. Sorry I don't have the exact dates.

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