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Louisville, KY: Museum Plaza

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Thursday, February 9, 2006 E-mail this  |  Print page

 

 

Who are the architects?

 

 

Who: Office for Metropolitan Architecture.

 

Headquarters: Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The New York City office is designing and overseeing Louisville's Museum Plaza.

 

 

   

History: Founded in 1975 by architect and urban thinker Rem Koolhaas of Rotterdam. He received the Pritzker Prize, the architecture profession's highest award, in 2000.

 

Museum Plaza partner-in-charge: Joshua Prince-Ramus, a Seattle native who oversees OMA's New York office. Museum Plaza's design is a result of a collaboration of architects headed by Ramus. He received a bachelor of arts in philosophy with distinction from Yale University and a master's in architecture from Harvard University.

 

Other supervising designers: Erez Ella, 34, a native of Israel who holds a bachelor's in architecture from Tel Aviv University; and Selva Gurdogan, 27, a native of Istanbul and graduate of the Southern California Institute of Architecture in Los Angeles.

 

some of their other projects.

bilde?Site=B2&Date=20060209&Category=NEWS01&ArtNo=60209001&Ref=V3&Profile=1008&MaxW=500&title=1

Charles Wyly Theatre in Dallas (under construction) (Courtesy of Office for Metropolitan Architecture)

 

bilde?Site=B2&Date=20060209&Category=NEWS01&ArtNo=60209001&Ref=V2&Profile=1008&MaxW=500&title=1

New CCTV headquarters in Beijing (under construction) (Courtesy of Office for Metropolitan Architecture)

 

bilde?Site=B2&Date=20060209&Category=NEWS01&ArtNo=60209001&Ref=AR&Profile=1008&MaxW=500&title=1

Seattle Central Library in Washington (Photo by Ted S. Warren/Associated Press) 

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The building looks like Kentucky's tribute to it's southern heritage.  Kinda like "Slavery Jenga."

 

maybe a tribute to its appalachian hertage? there is nothing southern about the state, its appalachia. jenga? lol! another good call on a reference.

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now just fill in the gaps..this photo doesn't even show the 20+ floor waterfront park located on the other side of the bridge to the left.

 

skyline-largesketched.jpg

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Changing skyline

The birth of a building

Here's the story behind the radical Museum Plaza skyscraper

By Chris Poynter

cpoynter@courier-journal.com

The Courier-Journal

 

www.courier-journal.com

 

bilde?Site=B2&Date=20060212&Category=SCENE05&ArtNo=602120314&Ref=AR&Profile=1047&MaxW=500&title=1

 

bilde?Site=B2&Date=20060212&Category=SCENE05&ArtNo=602120314&Ref=V1&Profile=1047&MaxW=500&title=1

 

bilde?Site=B2&Date=20060212&Category=SCENE05&ArtNo=602120314&Ref=H4&Profile=1047&MaxW=500&title=1

Architect Selva Gurdogan of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture is part of the Museum Plaza team.

 

The design for a radical, new, 61-story skyscraper burst onto the Louisville scene Thursday, when Museum Plaza was unveiled to the public.

 

But the story of the building began well before that.

 

For the past five months, Courier-Journal staff writer Chris Poynter was granted access to the creative process by Museum Plaza's investors.

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I lived in Louisville for 5 years, and am a big fan of the town.  But this is the stupidest looking thing I've ever seen.  If you were imagining the future in 1970, this is probably what you saw.

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I don't like the design at all. I could come up with concepts way better than this.  I can't wait until I'm an architect.  If stuff like this can get passed then I know I can have a huge impact in this field lol.  I guess my beef with the design is it doesn't really have any kind of balance to it. It looks like it's about to fall. You can design some pretty crazy stuff that still manages to look less disturbing.  That's cool that Louisville is doing such big projects though. Good for them. This'll definitely put their skyline in the spotlight.

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i hear they are remaking "logan's run"

 

Are you serious?!  That's great news!  I'm there opening night!

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They piled into a black Chevy Suburban, and, in the middle of Manhattan rush-hour traffic, Wilson asked the driver to find a liquor store. He ran inside, returning with a corkscrew, plastic cups, a bottle of Woodford Reserve bourbon and another of 1996 Bricco Rocche Barolo wine.....

 

.....Once they were in the night sky, however, Wilson uncorked the wine, poured everyone a glass and toasted a successful day.

 

If I was to be rude I'd say a few glasses of bourbon would make any deal look good.

 

Anyway, some comments from architecture/design related blogs and forums. 

 

Life Without Buildings notes that this is a further developement of OMA's "hyperbuilding" concept, spefically perhaps a rework of a proposal for Bangkok from the mid/late 90s...

 

oma-compare.jpg

 

("..."brief, titillating brush with sci-fi"")

 

..or a riff on Russian Constructivism..which im sure has influenced Kookhaas/OMA.  Actually the Louisville version looks more Constructivist.

 

...and some more pix from the CJ webpage.

 

 

 

A cross section showing how the entry would work with Main Street. 

 

The access from Main Street to the area behind the floodwall, facing the river, is the big design problem with Louisvilles riverfront, and this is an interesting solution...actually it is more contextual than the earlier attempts to make this connection, at the Riverfront Plaza and the Kentucky Center for the Arts a two blocks to the east.

 

I really like what they are doing here, using an existing 19th century commercial building, but tilting up the ground plane, compressing the space as you move deeper into the block, then expanding the space into a sort of atrium which recieves the angled elevator.  The upslope also permits the spanning of the alley and floodwall to the plaza, which is shared with the Ali Center....so this entry feature becomes an entry from Main Street to both the elevator to the 20th floor art museum and to the Ali Center.

 

bilde?NewTbl=1&Avis=B2&Dato=20060208&Kategori=NEWS01&Lopenr=208009&Ref=PH&Item=7&MaxW=455

 

And some views of the Museum, which are somewhat unclear as to whats happening yet...it looks like a play of solids and voids...maybe the solids are interior gallerys, sort of like the Josef Paul Kliehues' MOCA in Chicago

 

gallery?Site=B2&Date=20060208&Category=NEWS01&ArtNo=208009&Ref=PH&Params=Itemnr=14

 

gallery?Site=B2&Date=20060208&Category=NEWS01&ArtNo=208009&Ref=PH&Params=Itemnr=15

 

(id like to see more on the diagonal elevator enters the 20th floor island)

 

And, how they plan on building this sucker.

 

bilde?NewTbl=1&Avis=B2&Dato=20060208&Kategori=NEWS01&Lopenr=208009&Ref=PH&Item=12&MaxW=455

 

..watching the elevation of that museum piece is going to be a community event for sure.

 

@@@@@@

 

I plan on going to Louisville next weekend and hope to get a better idea of this thing by visiting the display center they have set up...hopefully there will be plans and sections on view as well as the model and video.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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this tower is simply a crime against humanity and architecture. I can do much better and if the architects of this tower read this I challenge them to let me do better. This towers model belongs no where but in the trash. No one in there right mind would let any one build this piece of crap in thier city, and if they proposed it for Cleveland ohio i would be the first in line to shot it down. Proposlas like this never get built, skyscrapers this ugly have been proposed before and they have never been built, congradualations for putting Loiusville on the map, now redesign this thing or dont buld it, its ugly as hell, period. I would not want it in my city, and I dont want it in yours, i have to pass this city when i travel down south, I dont want to see that piece of crap when I pass through the city. ITS UGLY, ITS UGLY ITS UGLY, PERIOD.

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i have to pass this city when i travel down south, I dont want to see that piece of crap when I pass through the city.

 

You do realize there are two bypasses around Louisville, so you dont have to travel through downtown.

 

 

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"You do realize there are two bypasses around Louisville, so you dont have to travel through downtown."

 

so now I have to make my trip l;onger because they want to build this piece of crap. Thats it im flying from now on, so i wont even have to pass through it at all. There goes thunder over loiusville for me. now they have to have a beautiful fireworks show ruined with this ugly skyscraper in the background.  :?

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The only good I can see coming out of this is that it opens the floodgates for future Louisville buildings, that basically anything goes, kind of like Las Vegas but not really.  Presently Louisville's skyline is unremarkable but if in 15 years it's the site of a half dozen completely bonkers buildings it really would change the culture of the city and its perception elsewhere. 

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i can't beleive there is going to be a public park on the 22nd level...did I read that correctly? I've never heard of a skyscraper with that in it. I like the design, its not like anything in my city but I think thats a good thing. If people in Louisville like it, they should get it built, and hopefully they don't pay attention to negative staments like the one above. Do your own thing Louisvile, have your own style! I love the fact that this is not a copy of other skyscrapers that have already been built.

 

Does anyone know if Ohio has a skyscraper with more than 1,200 parking spots underground, just as a comparison? does Ohio have a skyscraper with a public park on the 22nd level? Just as a comparison. I think those who are so critical of this buildings look, forget that it also has a purpose...which is not to make you love its look, its a hotel/lofts/museum/condos/public park/resturants/fun. I haven't known of any skyscraper that is this appealing to the public. You'd be lucky to get past the front door, let alone the 22nd level of most skyscrapers these days.

 

its not that ugly, and i'm pretty shocked at some of the closed minded Ohians in this thread.

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"Brown and Wilson decided they would begin investing in downtown Louisville as a way to stem suburban sprawl. Good development downtown, they reasoned, could curb sprawl by making the urban core an attractive and desirable place to live."

Amen.

I love the building, and hope Brown can make it happen.

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Good for Louisville, architecture in the US needs a kick in the ass.  I like that it is really pushing the envelope in a league with a lot of buildings going up all over the world.  It's bold and different.  Louisville already has one of the best textbook examples of postmodernism with the 1985 Graves designed Humana building...seems like they are determined to put themselves on the design map. 

 

 

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its not that ugly, and i'm pretty shocked at some of the closed minded Ohians in this thread.

 

Oh, the ironic statements keep coming.

 

It is NOT close-minded to be a critique. 


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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Critique? A critique acutally has valid points....most people in here with negatives towards this building only seem to say stuff like "its ugly" "it looks like a lego" "its ugly" "it looks like a lego" "its ugly" " i could draw this up in my sleep" "its ugly" "i could do better than this" "its ugly" "i'm a way better architect that OMA" "its ugly" "it looks like darth vadar" "its ugly" ..."my little brother could build a building better than this".....oh and "its ugly."

 

but they don't seem to have anything to say, negative or positive, about all the features of this building..maybe because they know they are freaking AMAZING.

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So someone saying "it's ugly" isn't a critique?  I could say your rant is one of the most foolish rants I've ever read on UrbanOhio.  That's a critique.  Factual basis?  None.  Opinion?  Surely.  Critique can be both.

 

If YOU feel the building is "freaking AMAZING," then God bless ya.  But the majority or UrbanOhio clearly think otherwise.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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In architecture you shouldn't have to necessarily point out a certain part of the building to decide if you do or do not like it. I can just look at how everything comes together and realize that it's just "Ugly". I mean buildings like that are supposed to appeal to the masses and not everyone goes that far in depth looking at it. They usually spend about 1 second deciding if it's ugly or not.  The Renaissance Center in Detroit is just as dramatic but it looks a hell of a lot better.

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Critique?  If I see a steaming pile of poo on the ground, do I have to analyze its positives and negatives before saying "yuck"?

 

Sometimes things are just not pleasing to people!

Tee hee... "poo."

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well a critique also points out the positives of the subject he or she is critiqing as well, and real critique doesn't just say he or shedoesn't like something because "his little brother could build it." thats just juvenile and stupid.

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It's great if people want to truly critique the design and discuss its merits, but that doesn't mean simple opinions are invalid.  And if people think it's ugly, it's not like anyone can prove them wrong.  Eye of the beholder and all that...

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I kind of like it; it is definitely bizarre (but not so much as to call it an eyesore).  This will definitely transform the Louisville skyline and IMO I think it is good to have this "statement skyscraper" (if you will) in Middle America!!!

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well a critique also points out the positives of the subject he or she is critiqing as well, and real critique doesn't just say he or shedoesn't like something because "his little brother could build it." thats just juvenile and stupid.

 

Sometimes, there AREN'T positive critiques, if nothing positive is shown.  That's like telling me Jesus made Kool-Aid out of water, when infact, he made wine.  If you can't talk about it, then don't talk about it.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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The Renaissance Center in Detroit is just as dramatic but it looks a hell of a lot better.

 

I second that, though the Rec Cen doesn't fit in with the rest of the skyline too well. I still like it though, especially the main tower.

 

I'm going to have to go with a lot of other people and say this Lousiville building looks like ass.

 

It reminds me of a space ship from "Aliens", and that angled piece of structural support really takes away from the building, not that it is anywhere near sleek anyway. I'm also guessing this building will cost a lot more than other similar-sized skyscrapers.

 

I can't believe the same architect designed the "egg tower" (or penis, rocket, what have you) in London. I freaking love that building.

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the biggest issue with this building to me is not the design itself, but how out of context it is for this city. not in a good way either. the ren cen is indeed similiar and is a miserable bust, mostly due to its isolation, and lou vul needs to learn from that --- i'm not sure, but this thing seems to be more integrated into the city so that will help. so will future spur development planned around it if they can pull that off too later on.

 

i have to say the more i read here the more this odd duck of a tower is starting to slowly grow on me. i suspect everyone will have to keep wrapping their heads around it for awhile. even if you hate it hey look at all these posts -- at least its not boring, so thats cool!

 

now next up is getting it built. this is quite another issue entirely and one that will be a much bigger hurdle than mere design. 

 

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"I can't believe the same architect designed the "egg tower" (or penis, rocket, what have you) in London. I freaking love that building."

 

It's not the same architect at all - Sir Norman Foster designed the Swiss Re tower in London. This is a team that's affiliated with Rem Koolhaas, who designed the Seattle Public Library.

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i can't beleive there is going to be a public park on the 22nd level...did I read that correctly?

 

I think its really just a public space, a museum, not a real park with trees. 

 

Does anyone know if Ohio has a skyscraper with more than 1,200 parking spots underground, just as a comparison?

 

Thats a technical problem with this design as the water table at downtown Louisville is pretty high..the older buildings in the city have subbasements which are prone to flooding due to this, and have to be dewatered.

 

Some more pix:

 

Looking west on the elevated I-64 towards the thing...i see they sited it on-axis with the interstate, so there must have been some site considerations to the massing....

OMAKY4.jpg

 

wireframe study with other downtown skyscrapers

OMAKY3.jpg

 

The museum space.  The humanoid creatures bring to mind the droids in the closing segment of Kubrick/Speilbergs AI

 

OMAKY5.jpg

 

And the rather 'Batcave-esque" entry to the parking garage at the buildings base (but is that aqua blue spandrel glass on the curtain wall?...shades of The 800!)

 

OMAKY6.jpg

 

"...its the way of the future, the future, the future, the future...."(Leo Decaprio as Howard Hughs)

 

OMAKY9.jpg

 

 

 

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I am going to Louisville this weekend.  Does anyone want to see more pix of the model and the current site?  I could snap a few and post them.

 

 

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jeff yes. more shots of the site and the surroundings. ihave not been in l-ville in yrs and have lost my bearings there. thx.

 

oh sure get the usual louisville highlights for us too. your challenge is to make us forget how this monster is overshadowing everything. heh. good luck!

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It's great if people want to truly critique the design and discuss its merits, but that doesn't mean simple opinions are invalid.  And if people think it's ugly, it's not like anyone can prove them wrong.  Eye of the beholder and all that...

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  This beholder thinks that its quite ugly.  The renderings make the skin look like a 70s skyscraper.  The form is awkward and random.  It will definitely be a signature building.

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well i guess Ohioans just have different taste then folks in Louisville. But regardless of what you think about the look, this building will still by far tower over everything else in the Ohio Valley, and probably reign as the most mix-use tower in the Ohio Valley.

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No, it won't.

 

It's like telling a teddy bear that there is only one Build-a-Bear shop in eixstance.


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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build-a-bear?  :laugh: lol! omg they just put one of those in on fifth avenue. i walked in there in some kind of crowd rushed daze and damn near lost my mind. too funny.

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what other tower in the ohio valley has lofts, a public park, a hotel, condos, a museum, and retail ontop of a 1,200 space underground parking garage all in one building? name one....

 

thank you

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And name one that has such a hideous design?

 

thank you


"You don't just walk into a bar and mix it up by calling a girl fat" - buildingcincinnati speaking about new forumers

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