Sunday, October 14, 2007
“This is your museum on drugs.”
This is the main entrance to the Victoria & Albert Museum, in London.
This is the addition proposed by Daniel Libeskind for the Victoria & Albert Museum.
For it, Libeskind used the same geometries he used for his seemingly (I haven't seen it in person) masterful Holocaust Museum in Berlin.
Libeskind tells us that his Berlin design produces discomfort, which seems appropriate for a Holocaust monument. But why should an extension to the V & A also produce discomfort?
Artists and art historians tell us that Harmonic Proportions, which are the same in music and the visual arts, produce a sense of comfort and well being. Psychiatrists tell us that unharmonic sounds can make us physically ill and shorten out lifespans. And studies show taking IQ tests after driving around in the visual chaos of sprawl have measurably worse results.
Why should the extension to the V & A look like this?
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I thought that Libeskind's proposed Victoria & Albert Museum extension was dead! Brian Hanson and I made quite a stir with our 2003 paper "Life, Death, and Libeskind", which also mentioned the V&A project:
This essay is reprinted as a chapter in my book "Anti-Architecture and Deconstruction", Umbau-Verlag, Solingen, 2004; Second Edition, 2007. Brian and I later added the following note to our chapter:
"This proposal (the V&A) was the second main focus of our original article. Because
the project was dependent upon a hefty sum of public money, it looked increasingly
unlikely that it would be built. It was officially abandoned after
the First Edition of this book."
You don't mention why you have resurrected this project. Is it possible that it just will not die? Also, Libeskind has never, to my knowledge, admitted that his Berlin Museum produces discomfort, nor mentioned that this might be appropriate for a Holocaust monument -- this was Brian's and my conclusion in the above essay. Indeed, our main point was to ask why all of his buildings, regardless of their intended use, seem to produce the same type of discomfort.
Posted by: nikos salingaros at Oct 14, 2007 9:56:49 PM
Looks like he's really become a one trick pony. Looks almost identical to the Royal Ontario Museum extension as well.
Posted by: Sean Galbraith at Oct 14, 2007 10:37:22 PM
the 15 minutes of fame for gehry and libeskind have already ended, even prominent architecture critics have written them off.
Contemporary Jewish Museum's architecture may prove temporal
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
Posted by: p at Oct 15, 2007 3:26:19 PM
The extension to the ROM got a surprisingly lukewarm review from the Globe and Mail's architecture critic, Lisa Roche, normally a champion of all things modernist. She said one of the best things about the design was that it could be taken down fairly easily in about 20 years time. So maybe Libeskind's shtick is on the way out.
Posted by: Intellectual Pariah at Oct 16, 2007 10:41:46 AM
I'm looking forward to this coming out:
"Architecture of the Absurd: How 'Genius' Disfigured a Practical Art"
Here's a relevant quote: "Have you ever wondered why the random slashes on the exterior of Daniel Libeskind's Jewish Museum, supposed to represent Berlin locations where pre-war Jews flourished, reappear, for no apparent reason, on his Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto?"
Posted by: Gizler at Oct 16, 2007 1:14:19 PM