03 December 2014

Calatrava: lakefront or crowded streets?

Last week in NYC, I meandered around the World Trade Center area, mostly to look at the WTC Transportation Hub, designed by Santiago Calatrava and about ten bazillion dollars over budget and as many days behind schedule (not that that's more than a drop in the bucket relative to the costs of destroying Iraq and Afghanistan). It's all jammed up against towers and won't have room to flap its wings.

Just a few months ago, I was in Milwaukee for the VRA annual conference and got to (finally) see the Quadracci Pavilion extension of the Milwaukee Art Museum, designed a dozen years ago by Calatrava. It is perched on the Lake Michigan lakefront.
It doesn't seem to me that there's any contest: such a building as either of these works better as a sculpture in a garden than along a street. Still, an occasional break in the streetfront like the Guggenheim Museum by Frank Lloyd Wright can be refreshing.

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