12 April, 2008
Hokay, so, I'm a big dork, but I really do love museums. Even dorkier, I'm still thinking about the one's I've gotten to see, specifically over indy travel. The Mercedes-Benz, Neue Nationalgalerie, Jewish Museum, Tate Modern, etc etc. They all are homes of amazing collections, yet each really created such a different impact on my interaction with the collection. The Mercedes-Benz museum in Stuttgart really takes the cake, with the Neue Nationalgalerie following up a close second. I love the idea of starting at the top and working your way down the ramp like in the M-B; it broke the traditional mold of starting on a ground-level and working your way up. Also really striking was the double-helix interior shaping they used to maximize space, while also allowing you to view other parts of the museum - kind of a way to see where you're going vs. where you're at & where you have been. Granted, I also love cars, so that didn't hurt either. The circulation of the Neue Nationalgalerie is almost opposite of that of the Mercedes-Benz. Your direction is extremely directed in the M-B Museum, whereas there is an extremely open circulation in the Neue Nationalgalerie, without being confusing like the Jewish Museum. The art was set up mostly chronologically in the NNg, dividing each space with a partition. The partitions made them feel more connected, and you were able to access a space at least three different ways, making the route feel less contrived. There were a significant amount of people in the museum, but it never really felt like that because there was constant movement (much unlike standing still at the Van Gogh museum) and it was easy to move between rooms. I had previously thought that designing a museum space would be so simple because you have few programmatic elements, and just have to create different sized spaces to accommodate the work. And, while this is true, the differences in circulation have really created the success or failure of the building, as well as impacted my enjoyment of the space and the collection.