28 March, 2008

Circulation much?

I was really excited to finally get to go to Berlin and see all these things I had heard about for so long. One of the major things I was looking forward to seeing was the Jewish Museum by Libeskind. A friend of mine had researched it for our sophomore projects and it looked amazing. When we walked up to it, the sun was just right in the sky...the sky was perfect...we took a ton of amazing pictures and i was ready to be wowed by the interior. We walked in and right off the bat, the floor plans of the building were on this clear layered glass wall. It was an awesome way of showing off the plans...little did I know that the presentation of the building's design would be plastered all over the rest of the building as well. From the entrance, my like of the building went downhill rather quickly. We walked down some stairs into the three axis space created by Libeskind (everyone is aware b/c his name was everywhere). The first axis we took was where the entrance took you and it was the axis of the holocaust but after a few minutes of straining to see the few things in the display windows we reached an intersection of the three axis with so clue where to go from there. As architects in a museum we were expecting an experience as we walked, or some semblance of circulation...however we didnt really find any of that in this building. Hailed by Libeskind, this design in my opinion was actually lacking a lot. The three axis were not very well thought out. There was no heirarchy of the three so you didnt know what order to follow them and then after following them, you just turned around and walked all the way back to pick a new one. When I walked around the Guggenheim in Bilbao, I was wowed by architectural achievements at every turn, but I didnt see FRANK GEHRY plastered all over the building to constantly remind of who came up with this, or little plaques everywhere explaining all of his design ideas. Overall I was not impressed with this museum and, after being so excited to see it, would not recommend it to anyone. I guess sometimes architecture put up on a pedestal (especially when its put up there by its own architect) has farther to fall when it disappoints.

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