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New Grand Rapids Art Museum


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wait, this wall that goes along monroe center, just east of rosa parks, is going to be concrete??!! :cry:

My understanding is that the corner of the building will be glazed up to the underside of the concrete. The concrete will continue up a couple floors and then have one of those three light boxes at the top. There will be gallery space on the second floor with that huge skylight above. I think it will be very elegant on the inside and out.

Don't forget that you're still looking at a construction site right now.

Edited by golscorer4
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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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the more the museum comes along the more im begining to hate it. It looks like its gonna be cement all over the place and its gonna stick out in that area like a sore thumb. Sure theyl will throw a few windows here and there but its still gonna look like crap but thats just my opinon

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the more the museum comes along the more im begining to hate it. It looks like its gonna be cement all over the place and its gonna stick out in that area like a sore thumb. Sure theyl will throw a few windows here and there but its still gonna look like crap but thats just my opinon

It IS going to be concrete all over the place, and it IS going to stick out.

Typically, Art Museuems function as significant, monumental, civic structures within the urban fabric of a city. I think that's exactly how the GRAM Foundation and Directors, the GR City Planners, and the various architects viewed this project from the beginning.

Why would you want a building of that civic importance to just blend in? Must I reference Bilbao? If you think about it, the current GRAM facility sticks out from its surroundings too.

As I watch the museum take shape, the only concern I have is the color of the concrete. I anticipated that it would be an Ando-esque pure white, rather than the sandstone tone that it has right now. Tadao Ando is the standard.

I just found this on the structural engineer's website...

LN00173P02_B.jpg

...the view I described in my last post.

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Given a foreground of Rosa Parks Circle and looking toward GRAM and south down Monroe, I think it will fit in quite well whilst also being an eye-catcher. Also looking along Monroe Center towards the Amway it could look good as well. But when combining a view of Monroe Center itself and the GRAM in say, a look from Pearl/Monroe/Monroe Center down Monroe Center, I think it could very well be almost an eyesore, or a horrible clash of styles. I also fear that part of Monroe Center there may lose its appeal to pedestrian traffic. Seeing the height, closeness, and boringness of that concrete gives me the impression that the section of Monroe Center there will feel like an alley of sorts.

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It IS going to be concrete all over the place, and it IS going to stick out.

Typically, Art Museuems function as significant, monumental, civic structures within the urban fabric of a city. I think that's exactly how the GRAM Foundation and Directors, the GR City Planners, and the various architects viewed this project from the beginning.

Why would you want a building of that civic importance to just blend in? Must I reference Bilbao? If you think about it, the current GRAM facility sticks out from its surroundings too.

As I watch the museum take shape, the only concern I have is the color of the concrete. I anticipated that it would be an Ando-esque pure white, rather than the sandstone tone that it has right now. Tadao Ando is the standard.

I just found this on the structural engineer's website...

LN00173P02_B.jpg

...the view I described in my last post.

I think this is right...it will stick out, but in a good way. It looks like the side facing Monroe Center here is almost all glass...the concrete is 2nd floor and above. Look also at the Guggenheim in New York

I think the contrast between the Modern and the Historic will be great!

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Is this the final design or the original design that has been tweaked? Although fuzzy, it seems like the image shows wood in the middle section, which I believe was nixed.

I'm all about light, so if they light it up it nicely, I'll be more likely to convert to the love side (I'm still at about a 3 on the hate-love meter).

Joe

It IS going to be concrete all over the place, and it IS going to stick out.

Typically, Art Museuems function as significant, monumental, civic structures within the urban fabric of a city. I think that's exactly how the GRAM Foundation and Directors, the GR City Planners, and the various architects viewed this project from the beginning.

Why would you want a building of that civic importance to just blend in? Must I reference Bilbao? If you think about it, the current GRAM facility sticks out from its surroundings too.

As I watch the museum take shape, the only concern I have is the color of the concrete. I anticipated that it would be an Ando-esque pure white, rather than the sandstone tone that it has right now. Tadao Ando is the standard.

I just found this on the structural engineer's website...

LN00173P02_B.jpg

...the view I described in my last post.

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I think it will offer a unique contrast to the surrounding structures. Enough to make it stick out. The old Art Museum was not unique, because anything could have occupied that space. This will give it some character in relation to the rest of the city.

Plus, Art Museums as pieces or art themselves are supposed to push the boundaries.

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They need to send this thing back to the age when brutalistic was hip. Take a look at Minneapolis's new museum is gonna look like now thats money well spent.

when it was hip? you mean, just a few months ago?

6phaeno.jpg

Zaha Hadid - Phaeno Science Center - Wolfsburg, Germany

Hadid-CAC-photo-3.jpg

Zaha Hadid - Contemporary Arts Center - Cincinnati, Ohio

3deyoung.jpg

Herzog & deMeuron - deYoung Museum - San Francisco

0507walker.jpg

Herzog & deMeuron - Walker Art Center - Minneapolis, Minnesota

They all have a few things in common; lots of opaque exterior walls, critically acclaimed, have been on magazine covers. Three of the four are in urban settings.

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Don't forget ... the Santiago Calatrava-designed Quadracci Pavilion of the Milwaukee Art Museum is basically the front porch of the museum. Very little of it actually functions as museum space, meaning the art collections are enjoyed in Eero Saarinen's War Memorial ...

_img_building_original1.jpg

The Saarinen building is a space many of the armchair architecture critics on this site would probably hate, but it functions exceedingly well as a place in which to truly experience visual art.

That should be the measuring stick for deciding whether or not the new GRAM is a well designed museum: how well does it serve the collection? and how flexible are the galleries that host touring exhibitions? Standard urban sensibilities should also apply (how friendly/transparent is the facade at street level? Etc.), but I'm sorry ... If new buildings all had to take into account the view from second floor offices across the street, we'd never build anything but one-story buildings.

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how well does it serve the collection? and how flexible are the galleries that host touring exhibitions? Standard urban sensibilities should also apply (how friendly/transparent is the facade at street level? Etc.), but I'm sorry ... If new buildings all had to take into account the view from second floor offices across the street, we'd never build anything but one-story buildings.

This is exactly what people should be thinking. After traveling in Europe, there were a number of modern museums that when I approached I was unsure of the architecture, but upon entering was amazed by how the exhibit functioned inside the space.

In contrast to that, I also visited a few museums that looked great on the exterior, but functioned VERY poorly as a museum. They served more as a simple warehouse that could've stored anything.

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That should be the measuring stick for deciding whether or not the new GRAM is a well designed museum: how well does it serve the collection? and how flexible are the galleries that host touring exhibitions? Standard urban sensibilities should also apply (how friendly/transparent is the facade at street level? Etc.), but I'm sorry ... If new buildings all had to take into account the view from second floor offices across the street, we'd never build anything but one-story buildings.

Successful urban areas are first and foremost all about the public realm. The streetscape is where we develop our sense of the city. You can measure the success of an individual building by how well it serves its stated purpose, but those measurements are of no concern when you judge how well a building serves its neighborhood and the greater community. As I walk down Monroe Center I have never wondered how well the Steketees Building serves the needs of Blue Cross. I have noticed, however, that it respects the street and the block and the neighborhood. It is contextually appropriate.

Having said that I will add that great cities are made up of mostly "background" buildings - those that do not scream for individual attention. Scattered in prime locations among the background buildings are "foreground" buildings - those that are architecturally more prominent than the others. Foregrounds buildings have historically included civic buildings, schools, churches, museums, etc. The Art Museum is a foreground building. In that regard the bold architecture may be be appropriate. Even in this context, however, I still don't care if the building serves its internal program well or not. It will still be judged by how well it fits and what it contributes to the greater image of our city.

I think that any concerns about the building in this forum are related to how well it fits in the city. I have toured the building with the contractor, drank beer with the architect and work in one of the windows across the street. I know the internal details of the building reasonably well. From the standpoint of the building's internal purpose, I think it has been brilliantly designed. I'm still wondering about the impact on the street. I do not believe that harsh architectural styles are historically enduring (IE Perkins and Will's Community College buildings).

Edited by civitas
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I think that any concerns about the building in this forum are related to how well it fits in the city. I have toured the building with the contractor, drank beer with the architect and work in one of the windows across the street. I know the internal details of the building reasonably well. From the standpoint of the building's internal purpose, I think it has been brilliantly designed. I'm still wondering about the impact on the street. I do not believe that harsh architectural styles are historically enduring (IE Perkins and Will's Community College buildings).

:alc: + napkin = :sick: Architecture. :rofl: Sorry couldn't resist...

Edited by Rizzo
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Excellent post, civitas!

I spent an hour and half reading this entire thread. :wacko:

I think the reason that there aren't any renderings of Monroe Center/Ottawa side is because it is the back of the building. It's about as attractive as DeVos Place at the corner of Monroe and Michigan. Well, maybe not quite that bad, but it's definately not the best side.

I also wonder about the effect of this building on the "feel" of Monroe Center. There is a lot of history on Monroe. Actually, Monroe is Grand Rapids. It's too bad the building is turning its back to it.

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Civitas, I would argue that the old Steketee's building does not respect the street, only because the canopy along Monroe mall creates a HUGE dark shadow and traps the smoke from the Blue Cross employees "on break". I always walk on the other side of the street by the boarded up storefronts. But I suppose that's another discussion, right?

So how well will the museum fit into the city? Well from the renderings that are out there we know that the building opens up to Rosa Parks Circle with its canopies and plaza, that the building has street level glazing along Monroe Mall for the museum's cafe and shop, that the bus drop-off is located along Louis (which is good because there isn't as much pedestrian traffic along there), and that the building will be fairly inpenetrable along Ottawa but will have some significant amount of glazing because of the "grand gallery". What more could you want? Also, just think of the dramatic effect of walking or driving down Ottawa and turning the corner by the Justice & Monroe building to see that large mass hovering at the street corner. It should be VERY striking!

jbr12, good to see you on here!

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I would agree with golscorer that I don't think the museum has "turned its back" on Monroe Center or Ottawa. In fact, there is a planned cafe with possible outdoor seating along Monroe Center, what appears to be lots of glass along Monroe Center and Ottawa from walking by it the other day, and all the utility entrances will be off Louis (I believe) and buried in the basement. When looking at it from Rosa Parks Circle, the multiple shapes and forms is quite striking and beautiful (IMO). It's very hard to capture by camera the feeling of spaces, shapes, levels, contours, and other things going on as the design unfolds.

Of course, like all controversial designs, there will be critics long after it is built. People will love it or hate it.

I'm liking it.

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I would agree with golscorer that I don't think the museum has "turned its back" on Monroe Center or Ottawa. In fact, there is a planned cafe with possible outdoor seating along Monroe Center, what appears to be lots of glass along Monroe Center and Ottawa from walking by it the other day, and all the utility entrances will be off Louis (I believe) and buried in the basement. When looking at it from Rosa Parks Circle, the multiple shapes and forms is quite striking and beautiful (IMO). It's very hard to capture by camera the feeling of spaces, shapes, levels, contours, and other things going on as the design unfolds.

Of course, like all controversial designs, there will be critics long after it is built. People will love it or hate it.

I'm liking it.

There is first level glass on Monroe Center. It will be set back under the concrete. There isn't any glass on Ottawa, except at the extreme corners(See Edit Below). Ottawa is not, however, all concrete. The big opening on Ottawa will be filled with louvered panels (maybe they have glass behind them) and the fire stairs on each side will be clad with metal panel. The louvers, metal panel and concrete will all be the same height as the three concrete "boxes". The three skylights are. of course, the tallest elements.

Behind the opening with the louvered panels will be a sculptural stair. Watch for a really heavy-duty crane on the site to place the stair. It is being fabricated off-site and will be set as one huge piece of steel.

The west side will be very nice. There is a huge water wall as you enter the building. The renderings don't show it well, but the "box" at the SW corner is actually lower than the wing on the NW corner.

EDIT: Sorry! I was wrong. There is a band of glass on the first floor below the louvers. I still don't fully understand the Monroe Street elevation, but I think these views are somewhat accurate. I'm liking it better all the time.

Brighter blue is glass and steel-blue is metal panel.

191015314_55965a8417_b.jpg

191015331_179c129ff1_b.jpg

191015360_be78d6ac24_b.jpg

Edited by civitas
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