Surprising Modern Twists Spice Up Historic Museums
Written for USA Today's 10Best - Source Article
Historical museums were often built to showcase the wealth of great countries and/or great industrialists; today, many of these landmark buildings remain popular public venues. However, through the generosity of patrons, collections belonging to these grand old museums have undergone tremendous growth creating a need for additional space. The end result is often a dramatic expansion program.
Interestingly, the additions to many of these classical old buildings are often bold modern structures, exceptionally distinct from the past, but somehow comfortably complementary to the historical. The juxtaposition of old and new appears to invigorate and reinforce the importance of these traditional buildings.
These striking contemporary architectural solutions are not happenstance. Skilled architects study the existing buildings, their context, and the light and space. Then they identify current and future needs of the museum and its visitors. The resulting modern interventions - conceptually clear and simple in form - effortlessly provide both function and a splendid elegance.
Each of the museums pictured in the slideshow above is well worth a visit, if for no other reason than the architectural surprise it bestows upon visitors.
Joyce Owens AIA RIBA