28 March, 2008
I M Pei......I'm not pei
Hidden on Museum Island in Berlin is this little architectural gem by I. M. Pei. It is a new exhibition hall of the German Historical Museum. The spiraling glass staircase is an eye-catcher, but what I liked most about the building was the space it created. Alluding to a previous study trip to Amsterdam, I learned about the density that a space can have through MVRDV's projects. Inhabiting the lobby of the exhibition hall, the space feels very refreshing and transcendental. It is not very dense programatically or even structurally, which is why I believe it works so well. The way Pei describes this is "The architecture should seduce people to move through the whole building full of curiosity and pleasure. I even want to tempt them to the top-most floor through ever more steps, new views."
Another interesting aspect, all be it small, were the details inside the building. Although we have been taught to think about details, we as students havn't worked through a project including the smallest areas of design. One example of this was the texture change that Pei gave to a wall were it contained a beam that spanned an opening. The change of texture revealed the structure in a very slight, but clear way.
Love and Architecture