Breathing Life Into The Most Intricate And Awe
The Modern Art Museum, Fort Worth, Texas more popularly known as ‘The Modern’ has an ethereal quality thats hard to define. By day, The Modern provides a charming complement to the landscaped outdoors and reflective water of the pond. By night, when the concrete walls are bathed in light, the transparent glass and steel galleries appear as large lanterns floating in the pond. Five long, flat roofed pavilions are situated on a 0.60 ha pond, designed specifically to reflect the glass and steel galleries of the new buildings unique architecture.
It starts falling into perspective when you realize that the museum was designed by world renowned Japanese architect, Tadao Ando. Putzmeister was privileged to be asked to give his vision a tangible form.
Interview: Architect Tadao Ando On The Modern Art Museum Of Fort Worth
Ten years ago this fall, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth opened its new Tadao Ando-designed museum to much critical acclaim throughout the world. The building is noted for its simple elegance, inventive interiors, efficient and evocative use of materials, and its sense of special serenity or meditative conduciveness. Much of this effect is achieved by the way Ando uses qualities of light, water, trees, glass, and concrete in his works.
Ando was back in Fort Worth this past weekend to mark the tenth anniversary of his museum. We spoke to him about the building, America, and his architectural practice.
FrontRow: Whats it like coming back to this building after ten years? Are you the kind of person who continues to rethink decisions you made in the design after a project is completed?
Tadao Ando: Of course I can see that I should have done this, I should have done that. There are many things, of course. Because nothing is perfect. And I know this here and there. But Im grateful that the building has been utilized in a very positive way. And the trees are growing, I love that. And I can see people are enjoying the space.
FR: Designing a building that sits next to Louis Kahns Kimbell is an honor, but it also brings a certain amount of added pressure or expectation. In some ways your building references Kahns, but then it also has its own feel entirely. How do you balance homage and invention when approaching a project like this?
FR: What makes a sacred space?
Elements Of Designpavilions That Seem To Float On The Water Cond Nast Traveller
Massive planar walls of architectural concrete boldly express the Modern’s basic structure while protecting the collection within. Forty-foot-high transparent walls of glass framed in metal surround the concrete envelope, providing magnificent public circulation areas from which to view the surrounding building, the large reflecting pond, outdoor sculpture, and the landscaped grounds. The desire to use diffused and reflected natural light within the gallery spaces was a major influence on the building’s design. Immense cantilevered cast-concrete roofs shade the building’s exterior and accommodate the introduction of natural light into the gallery spaces by supporting sophisticated systems of continuous linear skylights and clerestory windows. Supporting the concrete roof slabs are five forty-foot-tall concrete Y-shaped columns. By day, the Modern’s setting on eleven naturally landscaped acresincluding an outdoor sculpture garden and terrace and a large reflecting pond at the building’s edgeprovides a restful complement to the building’s architectural strength. By night, with the concrete walls bathed in an even glow of light, the transparent glass-and-steel galleries appear as large lanterns floating on and reflected in the pond.
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New York World’s Fair
The Trylon and Perisphere, symbols of the 1939 World’s Fair
Pavilion of the Ford Motor Company, in the Streamline Moderne style
The RCA Pavilion featured early public television broadcasts
Living room of the House of Glass, showing what future homes would look like
The 1939 New York World’s Fair marked a turning point in architecture between Art Deco and modern architecture. The theme of the Fair was the World of Tomorrow, and its symbols were the purely geometric trylon and periphery sculpture. It had many monuments to Art Deco, such as the Ford Pavilion in the Streamline Moderne style, but also included the new International Style that would replace Art Deco as the dominant style after the War. The Pavilions of Finland, by Alvar Aalto, of Sweden by Sven Markelius, and of Brazil by Oscar Niemeyer and Lucio Costa, looked forward to a new style. They became leaders in the postwar modernist movement.
Modernism Becomes A Movement: Ciam
La Samaritaine department store, by Henri Sauvage, Paris,
The Art Deco architectural style , was modern, but it was not modernist it had many features of modernism, including the use of reinforced concrete, glass, steel, chrome, and it rejected traditional historical models, such as the Beaux-Arts style and Neo-classicism but, unlike the modernist styles of Le Corbusier and Mies van der Rohe, it made lavish use of decoration and color. It reveled in the symbols of modernity lightning flashes, sunrises, and zig-zags. Art Deco had begun in France before World War I and spread through Europe in the 1920s and 1930s it became a highly popular style in the United States, South America, India, China, Australia, and Japan. In Europe, Art Deco was particularly popular for department stores and movie theaters. The style reached its peak in Europe at the International Exhibition of Modern Decorative and Industrial Arts in 1925, which featured art deco pavilions and decoration from twenty countries. Only two pavilions were purely modernist the Esprit Nouveau pavilion of Le Corbusier, which represented his idea for a mass-produced housing unit, and the pavilion of the USSR, by Konstantin Melnikov in a flamboyantly futurist style.
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World War Ii: Wartime Innovation And Postwar Reconstruction
The center of Le Havre destroyed by bombing in 1944
The center of Le Havre as reconstructed by
Quonset hut en route to Japan
World War II and its aftermath was a major factor in driving innovation in building technology, and in turn, architectural possibilities. The wartime industrial demands resulted in shortages of steel and other building materials, leading to the adoption of new materials, such as aluminum, The war and postwar period brought greatly expanded use of prefabricated building largely for the military and government. The semi-circular metal Nissen hut of World War I was revived as the Quonset hut. The years immediately after the war saw the development of radical experimental houses, including the enameled-steel Lustron house , and Buckminster Fuller’s experimental aluminum Dymaxion House.
Guggenheim Museum: Bilbao Spain
When New York Citys Guggenheim Museum created an outpost in Bilbao, Spain in the mid-1990s Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry was chosen to design the building. Gehry crafted his iconic swirling metallic sculptural building on the Estuary of Bilbao, creating at the same time, a brand new symbol for the Spanish city. In fact, the Guggenheim Bilbao would ultimately become the seminal example of how museums, or cultural institutions in general, can be utilised to regenerate post-industrial cities and bring new investment and life into the area. However, this style of regeneration often is critiqued for its predilection to gentrify the surrounding area, pricing out locals, and prioritising tourists needs over all others. Thus, this Guggenheim affect of utilising starchitecture to create new museum buildings, can be seen as both a positive and negative phenomenon. Despite this, Gehrys museum architecture is undoubtedly striking in its own right, and the building is only enhanced by the sculptures flanking its waterside entrance.
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Skidmore Owings And Merrill And Wallace K Harrison
The Metropolitan Opera House at Lincoln Center in New York City by Wallace Harrison
Many of the notable modern buildings in the postwar years were produced by two architectural mega-agencies, which brought together large teams of designers for very complex projects. The firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill was founded in Chicago in 1936 by Louis Skidmore and Nathaniel Owings, and joined in 1939 by engineer John Merrill, It soon went under the name of SOM. Its first big project was Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, the gigantic government installation that produced plutonium for the first nuclear weapons. In 1964 the firm had eighteen “partner-owners”, 54 “associate participants, “and 750 architects, technicians, designers, decorators, and landscape architects. Their style was largely inspired by the work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and their buildings soon had a large place in the New York skyline, including the Manhattan House , Lever House and the Manufacturers Trust Company Building . Later buildings by the firm include Beinecke Library at Yale University , the Willis Tower, formerly Sears Tower in Chicago and One World Trade Center in New York City , which replaced the building destroyed in the terrorist attack of 11 September 2001.
The Broad: Los Angeles California Usa
The Broad, a contemporary art museum located in Downtown Los Angeles, lives adjacent to Walt Disney Concert Hall, another silvery spiraling Gehry building. Designed with this location in mind, the architecture firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro wanted to contrast with their neighbors, and thus made a bright metallic perforated exterior. Based on the concept of the veil and the vault this perforated honeycomblike exterior lies like a veil over the vault of the building. This porous exterior allows filtered daylight into the indoor spaces, while the cool concrete body that forms the foundation and core of the building grounds the museums architecture. Opened in September 2015 with a party replete with celebrities, the building received mixed reviews with some nicknaming it the cheese grater due to its outward appearance.
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Ludwig Mies Van Der Rohe
The Seagram Building, New York City, 1958, by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe
Ludwig Mies van der Rohe described his architecture with the famous saying, “Less is more”. As the director of the school of architecture of what is now called the Illinois Institute of Technology from 1939 to 1956, Mies made Chicago the leading city for American modernism in the postwar years. He constructed new buildings for the Institute in modernist style, two high-rise apartment buildings on Lakeshore Drive , which became models for high-rises across the country. Other major works included Farnsworth House in Plano, Illinois , a simple horizontal glass box that had an enormous influence on American residential architecture. The Chicago Convention Center and Crown Hall at the Illinois Institute of Technology , and The Seagram Building in New York City also set a new standard for purity and elegance. Based on granite pillars, the smooth glass and steel walls were given a touch of color by the use of bronze-toned I-beams in the structure. He returned to Germany in 196268 to build the new Nationalgallerie in Berlin. His students and followers included Philip Johnson, and Eero Saarinen, whose work was substantially influenced by his ideas.
Le Corbusier And The Cit Radieuse
The Chapel of Notre-Dame-du-Haut in Ronchamp
Shortly after the War, the French architect Le Corbusier, who was nearly sixty years old and had not constructed a building in ten years, was commissioned by the French government to construct a new apartment block in . He called it Unité d’Habitation in Marseille, but it more popularly took the name of the Cité Radieuse , after his book about futuristic urban planning. Following his doctrines of design, the building had a concrete frame raised up above the street on pylons. It contained 337 duplex apartment units, fit into the framework like pieces of a puzzle. Each unit had two levels and a small terrace. Interior “streets” had shops, a nursery school, and other serves, and the flat terrace roof had a running track, ventilation ducts, and a small theater. Le Corbusier designed furniture, carpets, and lamps to go with the building, all purely functional the only decoration was a choice of interior colors that Le Corbusier gave to residents. Unité d’Habitation became a prototype for similar buildings in other cities, both in France and Germany. Combined with his equally radical organic design for the Chapel of Notre-Dame du-Haut at Ronchamp, this work propelled Corbusier in the first rank of postwar modern architects.
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The Hanoi Museum: Hanoi Vietnam
Opened in 2010 for the Millennial Anniversary of Hanoi, The Hanoi Museum designed by gmp Architekten takes the form of an inverted pyramid. As an inverted pyramid, the top floor is the largest at 920.4 square metres, with the bottom floor coming in at a mere 420 square metres. This design, though aesthetically interesting, was also conceived in order to protect the artworks inside from the sun, while also shading the building, providing an energy efficient museum architecture. The square building is extremely accessible, as it can be entered through any of its four sides from the artificial park landscape surrounding it. Replete with water basins, sculptural elements, and areas for outdoor exhibits the parks around the museum aim to evoke the feeling of the traditional villages in the style of old Hanoi.
Great Collection Great Architecture
This place has a good collection of modern art. The couple of special exhibits were interesting. The building architecture was very interesting with lots of small areas featuring one piece. It was raining when I was there, so I didn’t brave the elements to view the sculpture gardens.
The Modern Art Museum is a piece of art itself!!! Every corner you turn, it is an experience. From outside looking in, from inside looking out, the view and the feel is just amazing. I was not too much into the collection of museum although there was some interesting pieces, but the whole experience is just wonderful.Another pleasant surprise is the food at the Modern Cafe, the ambience is good and food is delicious with the right price point. The museum store also has some interesting items. I would love to go back for evening/night view or during a different season. I m sure it will be a totally different experience. This is one museum I would love to visit again and again and again.
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The Modern Art Museum Of Fort Worth
- External Signage, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Pentagram
- Sculpture Garden, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Pentagram
- Monumental Landmark Sign, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Pentagram
- Floor Lettering, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Pentagram
- Wall Signage, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Pentagram
- Cafe Modern, The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, Pentagram
In late 2002, the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth opened its new building designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. Ando’s design is comprised of five long, flat-roofed pavilions situated on a reflecting pool. Built of planed concrete and forty-foot-high walls of glass, the architectural forms embody the pure, unadorned elements of a modern work of art.
The reflective surfaces of glass and water around the museum have inspired the designers’ identity and signage for the museum. The identity acknowledges the colloquial attenuation of the institution’s name by locals, while the signage displays an understated quality and sensitivity to materials commensurate with architecture.
Museum Of Islamic Art: Doha Qatar
Located at the end of a seven kilometer-long waterfront promenade, Dohas Museum of Islamic Art is built on an artificial island off the peninsula. Surrounded by numerous museum parks and the open harbor, the building and its surroundings were designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei. When approached with the commission, Pei at 91 years old, had to be coaxed out of retirement for the project. However, Peis love for the architecture prevailed, and he took the project after traveling and studying for six months. During which time Pei learned about Muslim architecture, read ancient texts, and sought to understand the history of Islam in order to create the museum architecture that was eventually unveiled in 2008. The modern building has a respect for, and nod to, ancient Islamic architecture and design themes in its geometry, textures, and materials.
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Named One Of The World’s Most Beautiful Art Museums By Travel + Leisure Magazine
The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth’s building was designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando. The Modern is located in Fort Worth’s celebrated Cultural District, directly opposite the Kimbell Art Museum, designed by Louis I. Kahn, and near the Amon Carter Museum, designed by Philip Johnson. Ando’s design, which embodies the pure, unadorned elements of a modern work of art, is comprised of five long, flat-roofed pavilions situated on a 1.5 acre pond.
Team X And The 1953 International Congress Of Modern Architecture
In the early 1950s, Michel Écochard, director of urban planning under the French Protectorate in Morocco, commissioned GAMMA which initially included the architects Elie Azagury, George Candillis, Alexis Josic and Shadrach Woodsto design housing in the Hay Mohammedi neighborhood of Casablanca that provided a “culturally specific living tissue” for laborers and migrants from the countryside.Sémiramis, Nid dAbeille , and Carrières Centrales were some of the first examples of this Vernacular Modernism.
At the 1953 Congrès Internationaux d’Architecture Moderne , ATBAT-Afriquethe Africa branch of Atelier des Bâtisseurs founded in 1947 by figures including Le Corbusier, Vladimir Bodiansky, and André Wogensckyprepared a study of Casablanca’s bidonvilles entitled “Habitat for the Greatest Number”. The presenters, Georges Candilis and Michel Ecochard, arguedagainst doctrinethat architects must consider local culture and climate in their designs. This generated great debate among modernist architects around the world and eventually provoked a schism and the creation of Team 10. Ecochard’s 8×8 meter model at Carrières Centrales earned him recognition as a pioneer in the architecture of collective housing, though his Moroccan colleague Elie Azagury was critical of him for serving as a tool of the French colonial regime and for ignoring the economic and social necessity that Moroccans live in higher density vertical housing.
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