How is it that Manchester was so smart to engage and build, while in South Kensington it took so long? But the ‘spiral’ there will ultimately be built on the determination of senior curators, and (Danny would agree) by the will of the people, in the not-too-far-distant future. More than any other effect it will provide the explosive catalyst for the reborn V&A.
In the meantime, those seeking a greater understanding of Libeskind’s magic will be able to see it on the Serpentine Gallery just across the way in Hyde Park, where an aluminium spiral will temporarily transform the space, and also provide a coffee bar in the outdoor garden context – a kind of garden pavilion – to embrace this summer season.
Baroque World: Baroque 1620-1800: Style in the Age of Magnificence, V&A, London 2009.
Baroque is above everything, the word for a particular style in music, ceramics, furniture, drama, carving and of course, architecture. There was never such a term until after the period had receded into history. But as this well curated exhibition shows, it spread across the globe from Europe to Latin America, to Asia, almost as a pandemic in cultural terms.
Pallant House Gallery, Chichester
Pallant House Gallery, which opened on 1 July 2006 in the centre of Chichester, is a dramatic conjunction of old and new - dramatic, that is, internally. From the exterior, as approached from the town, a seamless joining has been achieved by the architects with great dexterity and carefully calculated understatement.
Zeroing Ground Zero
In early March, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation will publicly announce the winner of the two finalists shortlisted to provide designs for the reconstruction of the 11 million square feet of office space destroyed on 11 September 2001.
V & A
Mark Jones was the perfect choice to run the V & A; he had successfully masterminded the new building for the Museum of Scotland before he left, and he appears undaunted by the challenge of the brilliant Libeskind spiral, as yet still at the fund-raising stage.
Libeskind impacting Denver
Flying into Denver airport, the Rockies rise high in the distance, a constant reminder of the frontier context here, even today. Likewise, the apparently palisade-topped outline of Gio Ponti's 1972 Denver Art Museum (which contains an evocative Native American collection, appropriately) provides a reminder of, even in those far off times, an architect's urge to supply a signature building.