Words of Wisdom:

"Pain is merely weakness leaving the body." - Ldpende

Concrete Material

  • Date Submitted: 05/12/2014 11:18 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 37.6 
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The exterior of the Guggenheim Museum is a stacked white cylinder of reinfored concrete swirling towards the sky. The museum’s dramatic curves of the exterior, however, had an even more stunning effect on the interior. Inside Wright proposed “one great space on a continuous floor,” and his concept was a success. Walking inside, a visitor’s first intake is a huge atrium, rising 92′ in height to an expansive glass dome. Along the sides of this atrium is a continuous ramp uncoiling upwards six stories for more than one-quarter of a mile, allowing for one floor to flow into another. The ramp also creates a procession in which a visitor experiences the art displayed along the walls as they climb upwards towards the sky.
The design of the museum as one continuous floor with the levels of ramps overlooking the open atrium also allowed for the interaction of people on different levels, enhancing the design in section.
Although the space within the building is undeniably majestic and the building itself monumental, it was not perfectly successful in terms of function. The curved walls of the interior were intended so that paintings had to be tilted backward, “as on the artist’s easel.” This was unsuccessful because the paintings were still very difficult to display because of the concavity of the walls, and because of this before its opening 21 artists signed a letter protesting about their display of work in such a space. Many critics also argue that the building competes with the art work that is intended to be displayed, a problem which Museum Director James Johnson Sweeney took seriously, stating, “This is the most spectacular museum interior architecturally in this country. But my job is to show off a magnificent collection to its fullest. Wright also had a problem with Manhattan’s building-code administrators who argued with him over structural issues, such as the glass dome that had to be reduced in size and redesigned to include concrete ribs that are extensions...

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