museums to the ego

like churches and houses for the uber-wealthy, museums have long been used by architects as manifestos of design.  Increasingly rare are the modern museum projects that pay particularly close attention to the role of art and its display or the museum’s urban context.  Kahn’s Kimball Museum in Fort Worth and his British Gallery in New Haven are probably the best examples.

the gaudy Victoria and Albert, a wonder of its day

More often than not we get statements.  This may be an echo of the Bilbao effect or a response to a fairly flexible program.  In either case, the results can be a disaster.  Some examples of new and proposed designs that I’m afraid will become the Victoria and Albert eyesores of the future:

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