Milwaukee art museum - the art composed by three legends

Oct 16, 2019

Located on the shores of Lake Michigan, the war memorial was transmitted into an art museum famously known as Milwaukee art museum.  The Project not only was renovated at the existing galleries but also was decorated with an entrance at Lake Front. The Milwaukee Art Museum was formed after merging the Milwaukee Art Institute and Layton Art Gallery (demolished now) and now moved into the newly designed Eero Saarinen war memorial. The museum was proposed in three phases one in 1955 as a war memorial, and then in 1975 adding the permanent collection and then in 2001 giving the property an extension of a new lobby, changing gallery and a lecture hall. Later in the 20th century, along with the war memorial, two more buildings were brought in one designed by David Kahler was known as the brutalist Kahlere building and another one belonging to Santiago Calatrava popularly known as the Quadracci Pavilion.

Gist on the Architecture of the museum:

The museum entirely is covered in a vast area of 28,200 which includes the wing that is set at a right angle to Saarinen’s structure. In the 20th century, two other buildings were added to the Kahlere building and the Quadracci Pavilion. The design allows for future expansion, offset from but symmetrical to the exhibition facilities, on the other side of the Kahler building.  The new addition made in the museum was all glass keeping transparency between the building and the lake. It creates a new waterfront entry atrium with a café, lounges and sculpture galleries with water views. The Quadracci Pavilion contains a movable, wing-like brise-soleil that opens up for a wingspan of 217 feet during the day, folding over the tall, arched structure at night or during inclement weather. Designed as an independent entity, the steel, and the concrete form is an evocative form of a ship. The new addition is clad in darkened stainless steel panels that harmonize with the color of the existing concrete building and reflects the ever-changing light of the water and atmosphere with a diffuse matt finish. Deep apertures give the visitors a look of the lake and a soothing view of the wings of the museum. It also includes staircases to the roof of the terrace at the level; of the downtown bluff top, allowing the viewers directly to the roof of the terrace from the city giving them a direct view of the lake. The existing permanent collection galleries were completely renovated, with new gallery partitions and visitor-friendly organization. It also allows expansion at the shore level 1500, this expansion houses the atrium. This expansion can conduct a few more educational events and temporary exhibitions with 300 seats in a lecture hall and a gift shop. The restaurant which is the main focal point of the pavilion commanding a lake view has a place for maximum 100 people at a time

A speech of Calatrava in October 2001- “For me, the project of expanding the Milwaukee Art Museum was an opportunity to help people make the most of an extraordinary situation. The design did not result from a sketch. It came out of a close collaboration with the clients … who truly wanted from me the best architecture that I could do. Their ambition was to create something exceptional for their community rather than just add something to the existing buildings. I also wanted to add something to the lakefront. I have, therefore, worked to infuse the building with a certain sensitivity to the culture of the lake – the boats, the sails and the always changing landscape. The extension, as such, is a kind of pavilion, transparent and light, which contrasts with the massive, compact Saarinen building. Reaching out from the Quadracci Pavilion, like an arm extended to the city, is a bridge. Besides being a link to the city, the bridge is part of a composition. Its leaning mast conveys a sense of direction, of movement, which is taken up by the roof, the cables, and the canopies that extend on each side. These strong lines culminate in the Burke Brise-Soleil, which translates their dynamism into actual motion. I hope that … we have designed not a building, but a piece of the city”.