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Old January 25th, 2010, 02:17 PM   #1
Cauê
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The cultural landmarks of the next 10 years

The cultural landmarks of the next 10 years

Oliver Good

Last Updated: January 25. 2010 12:23AM UAE / January 24. 2010 8:23PM GMT


There is great public architecture and then there are cultural landmarks; the two are not quite the same.

Although there are buildings around the world that represent the pinnacle of design in their eras, only a few become entwined with a nation’s cultural identity: museums, libraries, theatres and galleries that are as popular for the bricks and mortar they are made of as for the contents within.

Although it might sound difficult to predict such landmarks, it is actually rather easy: they are the ones that invite us in. Whereas it is easy to marvel at the bold technical ambition of a skyscraper, it’s hard to establish an emotional connection with a building unless you’ve spent a few hours walking its halls, gazing at its walls or taking cover in the cafeteria from the elements.

But just as Sydney would be unimaginable without its Opera House, or New York without the Guggenheim Museum, at one time both great institutions were just ideas with the potential to falter. Many years later, such icons have not only succeeded in redefining the way in which their cities are perceived, but have also become milestones in our collective cultural history.

With a new decade now upon us, what will be the cultural landmarks of the next 10 years?

Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza, Egypt

Resembling a giant glass and stone arrowhead resting in the desert sand, the Grand Egyptian Museum will sit two kilometres from the pyramids at Giza. Due to be completed in 2013, and expected to cost about Dh2.2 billion, it will house more than 50,000 of the country’s most prized artefacts, including the Tutankhamen collection. Commissioned by the Egyptian ministry of culture and part-funded by President Mubarak and his wife, the museum is expected to attract 4.8 million visitors every year. Its design, by the Dublin-based Heneghan Peng, is intended to reflect both modern and ancient elements, including thousands of triangular pyramid-like pieces.

National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome

The impressively named MAXXI is due to open this spring and will consist of two new museums: MAXXI Art and MAXXI Architecture. Although it looks simple from the outside – a stack of vast concrete pieces with gigantic, windowed walls – the super-museum’s interior is a complex lattice of stairs, walkways and galleries of varying sizes. Located in Rome’s Flaminio district, the Dh790m landmark is being billed as the notoriously conservative city’s first major contemporary art gallery. The project has taken so long that its design by the Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid harks back to an earlier stage in her career, when angular walls and jagged geological forms were greater influences.

Tate Modern extension, London

Since opening to the public in 2000, London’s giant modern art museum has become so popular it now attracts twice the number of visitors originally expected. The proposed Dh1.24bn extension, designed by the Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron, is intended to increase the Tate Modern’s floorspace by 60 per cent. After rejecting the original design – a stack of glass boxes – planners settled for a giant pyramid in the same dark brown brick-work as the existing building, a former oil power station. Although it is scheduled for completion in 2012, organisers have raised only a third of the money needed for the project.

Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, Marseille, France

A huge minimalist cube on the city’s seafront, the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations is expected to become the centrepiece of Marseille’s European Cultural Capital celebrations in 2013. Designed by the architect Rudy Ricciotti and likely to cost Dh920m, it is intended as a showcase for the city’s 2,600 years of history, as well as exploring the interactions between ancient civilisations throughout Europe. The museum is one of several major works planned for France’s second city, including a research institute and a street arts centre.

New Miami Art Museum, Florida

Relocating from its present downtown site to a stretch of the city’s most desirable beach-front is likely to do great things for the Miami Art Museum’s international reputation. Designs by Herzog & de Meuron show glistening new premises with tall, white pillars and towering verandas covered in foliage. Dedicated to both contemporary and classical works of art, the museum will move to the 29-acre Museum Park (formerly Bicentennial Park) in 2013. The space will also become home to the new Miami Science Museum and a branch of the Historical Museum of Southern Florida.

Guangzhou Opera House, China

Sitting on the banks of the Zhu Jiang River and resembling a pair of smoothed boulders, the Guangzhou Opera House is a brave attempt by the southern Chinese city to put itself on the world’s cultural map. Also conceived by Zaha Hadid, the building’s centrepiece will be a 1,800-seat theatre, designed to produce the perfect acoustics for Chinese opera. With an estimated budget of Dh380m, the opera house was scheduled for completion last year, but a fire in May moved the likely opening date back to 2010. Recent years have seen many of the country’s cities race to open opera houses – a source of civic pride – designed by noteworthy architects.

Refurbished National Museum of China, Bejing

Due to reopen this year, the National Museum of China has undergone refurbishment and redesign. The five-year project, overseen by the architects GMP, will lead to 28 new exhibition halls and more than double the previous exhibition space. The design is remarkably conservative for modern China, simply updating the look of the original museum created in 1959; however, the significance of the reopening for the Chinese people cannot be underestimated. It represents the long-awaited merger of Beijing’s Chinese History Museum and the Chinese Revolutionary Museum into one entity, thus bringing both the history and art of one of the world’s oldest cultures under one roof.

Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi

Our own cultural landmark in the making, Saadiyat is likely to become not just Abu Dhabi’s artistic centre, but one of the Middle East’s foremost visitor attractions. The Dh100 billion development will include new branches of the Louvre and Guggenheim museums, as well as new residential, commercial and leisure complexes. In addition to displaying treasures on loan from some of world’s best-respected cultural locations, the island is to feature a collection of buildings designed by acclaimed architects. Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Abu Dhabi Museum resembles a chaotic arrangement of lopsided towers and cylinders, while Jean Nouvel’s Louvre Abu Dhabi has a simple but elegant shallow dome design. There will also be a new campus for New York University Abu Dhabi, an 18-hole golf course and a performing arts centre designed by (you guessed it) Zaha Hadid.

Museum of Image and Sound, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

With the Olympic Games heading to the South American metropolis in 2016, few things will help to clean up Rio’s image better than the new Museum of Image and Sound. That’s because it is to be built on the site of a demolished nightclub that became infamous for prostitution and drug trafficking. Designed by the New York firm of Diller Scofidio + Renfro, the Dh183m project resembles a zig-zagging glass cliff-face looking out over Rio’s picture-postcard Copacabana Beach, and is expected to be completed in 2012. The existing MIS, founded in 1965, sits in the centre of the city and brings together valuable collections of photographs, posters, films, videos and newspaper clippings.

Centre Pompidou-Metz, France

Just as Paris’s Pompidou Centre became one of the cultural icons of the 1970s, organisers hope its sister museum on the banks of the river Seille will leave its mark on this decade. The design is said to be based on a traditional Chinese hat; however, it is difficult to imagine the building, with its tall spire and cloud-like roof, being inspired by anything that exists in reality. The north-eastern town of Metz was reportedly chosen as the first location for a decentralised branch of the Pompidou because of its close proximity to neighbouring European populations. The project, designed by a trio of international architects, is set to open in the coming months and will share exhibits with the Pompidou’s Paris headquarters.

http://www.thenational.ae/apps/pbcs..../1678/yourview


Grand Egyptian Museum, Giza, Egypt



National Museum of the 21st Century Arts, Rome



Tate Modern extension, London



Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations, Marseille, France



New Miami Art Museum, Florida



Guangzhou Opera House, China



Refurbished National Museum of China, Bejing



Saadiyat Island, Abu Dhabi



Museum of Image and Sound, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil



Centre Pompidou-Metz, France

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Last edited by Cauê; January 25th, 2010 at 02:37 PM.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 07:38 PM   #2
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It seems like deconstructive architecture is very popular for museums nowadays, as if every city wants its own Guggenheim.
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Old January 26th, 2010, 07:55 PM   #3
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Is this a harbinger of a post-deconstructivist trend to start in the future?

Florida museum is great architecture btw (non-deconstructive).
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Old January 27th, 2010, 12:59 AM   #4
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Seriously?
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Old January 27th, 2010, 01:15 AM   #5
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I nominate the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg. "Cultural landmark" doesn't have to be only museums.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 01:28 AM   #6
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I quite agree, world-class design!


Last edited by deq; January 27th, 2010 at 01:50 AM.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 04:37 AM   #7
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Is that being built? I'd nominate the Canadian Museum of Human Rights under construction in Winnipeg, Manitoba:

image hosted on flickr


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http://www.predock.com/CMHR/CMHRETop.jpg



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Last edited by isaidso; January 27th, 2010 at 04:52 AM.
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Old January 27th, 2010, 05:45 PM   #8
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I hope they put more effort into the exhibits at the new Egyptian Museum then they do at the current one in downtown Cairo (which mainly has the "let's just put everything under one roof and leave it at that" philosophy.)
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Old January 27th, 2010, 11:02 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
Is that being built?
Yes, there's a thread on that project here:http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=461677
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Old January 27th, 2010, 11:51 PM   #10
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I also wondered why the Elbe Philharmony is missing in that list...
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Old January 28th, 2010, 07:35 AM   #11
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+1
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