Moos Tower: Love it or hate it?
Originally called Health Science Unit A, the brutalist tower on the east bank of the University of Minnesota campus isn't an easy building to love.
It's brooding. It's concrete. It looks like the kind of place the East German Stasis would have loved to call home.
In his AIA Guide to the Twin Cities, author Larry Millett clearly loathes it. "The architectural equivalent of a Hummer, the idea apparently being to show just how big and bad a building can be," he writes.
Continues Millett, "With their crushing scale and ominously overhanging upper floors, they certainly convey a sense of the power of modern medicine, albeit in a thoroughly unpleasant way."
Designed by Architectural Collaborative, Cerny and Associates, HGA, Setter Leach and Lindstrom in the mid-1970s, the building, which is now called the Malcolm Moos Health Sciences Tower, now houses the UM's dentistry, medical and public health schools. According to Millett, the structure is connected to the Phillips-Wangensteen Building and is designed to be "read as a single structure."
For me, Moos Tower is not without its charm. Snuggle in close, tilt your head toward the sky and the building creates a key-hole view of the world. On a sunny spring day, the Minneapolis hulk also throws angular shadows across its concrete surroundings. I know that's not much of a defense, but for some reason, I'm drawn to the building.
What do you think? (Photos by Todd Melby)
L.A. Recalculated - [Image: From *L.A. Recalculated* by Smout Allen and BLDGBLOG]. London-based architects Smout Allen and I have a project in the new issue of *MAS Context*,...