Ironically his statement made me think of a project that accomplished just the opposite—the recent wing of the Denver Art Museum. Designed by Daniel Libeskind, it’s a glaring example of the architecture overpowering the art. While it’s striking angles look great from the outside, it poses a number of obvious problems on the inside.
For one, how do you hang paintings on slanted walls? This isn’t just an issue for the museum’s prep crew, it makes for an awkward building for a visitor to navigate.
Surely Libeskind is too accomplished to have forgotten the two most important things when designing an art museum—the art and the visitors. So was this strategic or a classic case of an artist’s ego clouding the fundamental task at hand? I appreciate Libeskind’s rejection of the boring white cube in favor of something more interesting, but he went too far in Denver. Is there a museum expansion project out there that is aesthetically spectacular and still allows the art to be the center of attention? Phifer thinks so. The real question is, do the visitors and staff agree?