Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Skate Break: Spring Break Thoughts

By Ryan Northcutt

Over spring break I had the opportunity to take a trip to Dallas and Fort Worth. While I was visiting I took the time to visit some of the pieces of architecture that are in the area, as well as see Thorn Crown Chapel on the drive down. Many of these visits I did weren’t directly related to my thesis project, but I made some parallel connections in order to make the trip worthwhile and education for my purpose. My main concern was to understand gallery space, as Dallas and Fort Worth are both full of museums designed by big named architects. I did not have time to see them all, but by far my favorite and most educational were the Tadao Ando museum and the Louis Kahn museum. Each of these both unique in many ways responds to a need to display art. The one key factor that was seen in both museums was the need for light. Natural light, which is great for any reason, was a guiding factor in the designs of the museums, which in my case is also important, giving the fact that I will have a gallery space and work space in my program. The beautiful part of each of these museums is the feeling of serenity. Each building, designed to an a appropriate scale and proportion allows the mind to feel secure but bright and enlightened. Probably the most fascinating feature was the design solution to bringing in natural light to the exhibit space without having any indirect light. The beauty of the details and the solution as a whole are in perfect proportion which leads to a wonderful form and aesthetic. I am a fan of Louis Kahn in general. I have had the opportunity to visit the Salk Institute and just like the Kimbell I felt positive feelings when in the space. The attention to detail and understanding of material and light is astounding and almost overwhelming in a positive sense. Of course I do have to wonder what a regular joe would think about architecture, and especially these fine examples. For me to actually explain my thoughts is difficult for I am not good with words, but any one person who has had the pleasure surely understands the beauty of such deep architecture. Just so I am not rambling on, I want to display some pictures I took and talk a bit about them.

This picture is of the Modern Museum of Art by Tadao Ando. I took this picture actually in September of 2013, but this is a great example of daylighting design. Beyond the far glass wall is a large pond that helps cool the site as a whole and reflects light into the building. Great experience overall.

These next two pictures are of the Salk Institute (top) and the Kimbell Art Museum (Bottom) by Louis Kahn. Just looking at the pictures there is a sense of proportion and scale that is almost perfect, even exterior lighting considerations are amazing. And finally below is the interior of the Kimbell, you can see light coming in through the top of the ceiling, and how much light is coming in. Yet again, amazing.

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