Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Glass ceiling

So my friend Matt is one of the project architects for the new expansion of the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. Because I have such a powerful and influential friend, I scored a private tour of the not-yet-completed expansion.

The new building, designed by well-known architect Steven Holl, has been the source of a fair amount of controversy in Kansas City. Some people object to his design, which uses hundreds of slabs of specially designed glass, saying it looks too much like a prefab metal shed and it's offensive to the grand old Nelson Atkins.

Others, like Tony from TKC, object on general principal to the idea of spending dollars on "cultural" projects, saying there's no benefit to the proletariat (his opinion).

My personal view is that this is going to be a kick ass building. It's a mistake to judge this book by its exterior cover. I was able to snap a few pics of the interior before my digital camera battery died, and let me just say it's pretty damn impressive.

The spaces and lighting will be amazing for the gallery and public areas below the "lenses." And the integration with the exterior landscape will only enhance the "sculpture garden" feel of the east side of the Nelson.

My prediction is that this building will become on of Kansas City's best landmarks.

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