Saturday, July 22, 2006

Calatrava in Milwaukee

Finally drove up to see the new Calatrava sculpture in Milwaukee (which also serves as the entry hall to the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Is it a building ? -- or a ship that's been driven aground ?

I love to look out from the bridge of a great ship -- with the light pouring in from the windows -- and see nothing but sea and sky

Maybe it's less a sea-ship, and more of a star-ship --- patiently waiting for other space birds from distant galaxies to roost beside it.

Here we are - looking down the spine of the great beast - (and that's Beth having fun on the field trip)

The long hallway to the museum entrance also serves as a sculpture court -- with regularly spaced niches along the wall -- each with its own skylight - but not really enough light - so multiple spotlites are needed as well.

Fun for a first-time visitor ? --- Definately
Civic show-piece ? -- Yes - for now.
Beautiful like a fancy yacht -- definately
But beautiful like a French cathedral ? --- I --- don't --- think ---- so.

Remember when we used to have World's Fairs ? That's where it belongs -- or maybe in the "Future World" area of Disneyland. (The Calatrava structure includes an auditorium -- and as we stood in its vast emptyness, I flash-backed to the space-travel ride in the old Disneyland -- where the seats vibrated to simulate take-off -- and the star-clustered universe was projected on the screen in front. I liked "Future World" back then - c. 1957 -- but I really preferred the Pirate Ship)


Blogger Gawain said...

Was it pleasant to stand in that space? It was surprisingly pleasant to stand at the bottom of the IM Pei's triangle at the Louvre -- but only because, i think, it afforded a nice perspective on the wings of the building above one's head. On ground level it is a disaster -- it makes looking at the courtyard of the Louvre TIRESOME -- it obstructs the view, you keep trying to look around it.

Buildings feel differently experienced from outside and inside.

This thing from outside has a forbidding and tiresome look -- it puts me on guard, as if its numerous spikes could cut my fingers if I weren't careful. But what about the inside -- what was it like to be in that space?

July 23, 2006  
Blogger chris miller said...

It was thrilling to stand beneath the great, vertical canopy -- and the galleries were pleasant to walk through.

But from the outside ? Well -- ships aren't designed to fit into their space at port -- and fortunately this one has not been docked next to a Renaissance palace.

July 23, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Calatrava has built such an airy sculpture, I mean the train station in Lisbon, for the 1998-Expo.
Inspiring, it's true, and terribly windy in Winter for those who have to stay there and wait for a train !
But it's a masterpiece when you see it.

August 06, 2006  

Post a Comment

<< Home