Tuesday, March 13, 2007

King on new Weisman: More Art Nouveau
Lyndel King (above) unveiled plans for an expanded Weisman Art Museum on the University of Minnesota campus. First constructed in 1993, the new 11,000 square-foot addition will include four new galleries, a cafe and a studio, all designed by the original architect: Frank Gehry. And there was a lot of talk about the Los Angeles-based architect who went from being an eccentric who put asphalt in the kitchen of his Santa Monica house to designing the world's most talked about museum (Guggenhein Bilbao, not the Weisman).

King, the Weisman's director, says Gehry's metal curves for the new addition will probably be stainless steel and be "more organic, more like the drawings" than the original Weisman.

"When he did this building, the drawings were very organic, very complicated. The drawings look a lot like the drawings for the Guggenheim in Bilbao, which was just after us," King says. "But our building looks significantly different. That's because he had to straighten them out, [make them] more geometric. I like to say that our current building is a cubist sculpture and the addition is going to be more Art Nouveau."

The lower photo, above, shows the new WAM Cafe. The conceptual model and drawings show supports for the cantilevered cafe, which will be perched on the Mississippi River side of the building. Asked if she'd like to see the cafe with hidden supports (think Guthrie cantilever), King says, "I would love to have it seem to be floating in air." (Photos by Todd Melby)

To listen to an interview with Lyndel King, click here.

No comments: