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Museum of Fine Arts Houston Expansion

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6 hours ago, Angostura said:

It's another example of a building designed to be striking as a model or rendering (or as viewed from a passing helicopter, I guess). This is not uncommon when the main function of the design is to convince potential donors to build it. How the building will actually be perceived by visitors and passers-by is a secondary concern at best, and entirely irrelevant if the thing never gets built.

 

2 hours ago, jmitch94 said:

It was designed to have as much natural light coming in from the ceiling to make the inside bright and airy. How the building is perceived by visitors was very much a concern. 

 

 

jmitch, you are correct.  Likewise, how the building will be perceived by passers-by was very much a primary concern.

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6 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

 

 

 

jmitch, you are correct.  Likewise, how the building will be perceived by passers-by was very much a primary concern.

 

 

Yes, yes, I'm sure they thought about it. But all the press materials show the building as viewed by someone passing by 200 feet in the air.

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2 hours ago, Angostura said:

 

 

Yes, yes, I'm sure they thought about it. But all the press materials show the building as viewed by someone passing by 200 feet in the air.

 

Even if true, that hardly demonstrates that little or no thought was given to how the building will be perceived by visitors or passers-by.  Sorry, but your initial claim was just false.

Edited by Houston19514
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I actually don't see a lot of renderings viewed from above, unless from the top of the Glassell School and that is from a viewers perspective.  Sure there are photos of models...but that is how people generally take photos of a models.  There are also some drone photos of the construction site, but they tell a construction story, not a portrayal experience.  

 

Do a simple google search " MFAH Kinder Rendering " and it is almost all from a grounded viewer's perspective. 

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=mfah+kinder+renderings&sxsrf=ACYBGNRlIkw2f9PSXkGNwTq-vZfnMeKhSw:1573249113475&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjE27TUydvlAhVJCKwKHZQYARkQ_AUIESgB&biw=1781&bih=879

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I walked around the building today.  It is coming together beautifully.  I love the effect the project is having on the sculpture garden and contrary to the hasty (mis)judgments rendered above and elsewhere on HAIF, the interaction with passers-by was clearly very high on the priority list for this design.  The public-facing sides (Montrose, Main and Binz) are probably at least 75% glass with, wide, sheltering overhangs.  Looking very inviting.

Edited by Houston19514
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26 minutes ago, Houston19514 said:

I walked around the building today.  It is coming together beautifully.  I love the effect the project is having on the sculpture garden and contrary to the hasty (mis)judgments rendered above and elsewhere on HAIF, the interaction with passers-by was clearly very high on the priority list for this design.  The public-facing sides (Montrose, Main and Binz) are probably at least 75% glass with, wide, sheltering overhangs.  Looking very inviting.

 

lol, that comment seems to have really gotten to you! Keep it in its own thread... and grow a thicker skin. Not everyone will have the same aesthetic judgment.

 

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2 hours ago, BeerNut said:

 

These people are straight out of an artist render.

because @MidCenturyMoldy is clearly one that knows how to handle a camera. Great shots by the way. I can't wait to take some good architectural photography shots for myself once this is done. Especially at night.

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2 minutes ago, Luminare said:

because @MidCenturyMoldy is clearly one that knows how to handle a camera. Great shots by the way. I can't wait to take some good architectural photography shots for myself once this is done. Especially at night.

 

The shots are great but this one photo checks all the boxes that renders usually have: compressed(to give it that off look), random couples, diversity, cool people in shades, people staring at stuff, kid(s) in fun poses...

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6 minutes ago, BeerNut said:

 

The shots are great but this one photo checks all the boxes that renders usually have: compressed(to give it that off look), random couples, diversity, cool people in shades, people staring at stuff, kid(s) in fun poses...

 

I agree, but what gives it the "off look"?

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1 minute ago, Luminare said:

 

I agree, but what gives it the "off look"?

 

The picture is overly compressed.  It's like the picture was taken in jpeg then compressed again before uploading.

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1 hour ago, BeerNut said:

 

The picture is overly compressed.  It's like the picture was taken in jpeg then compressed again before uploading.

Huh? The photo was actually shot raw. What is it you're seeing that you're calling "overly compressed?" Here's the photo straight off the camera memory card, converted from raw to non-compressed jpeg, with no changes whatsoever from how it was shot other than reducing the resolution from 300 pixels/inch to 72. 

IMG_1919raw.jpg

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3 minutes ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

Huh? The photo was actually shot raw. What is it you're seeing that you're calling "overly compressed?" Here's the photo straight off the camera memory card, converted from raw to non-compressed jpeg, with no changes whatsoever from how it was shot other than reducing the resolution from 300 pixels/inch to 72. 

IMG_1919raw.jpg

It's from uploading the pictures to the site.  Some individuals upload pictures to imgur and just insert the link which allows you to view a less compressed image.   I think I've derailed this post...   

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13 minutes ago, BeerNut said:

It's from uploading the pictures to the site.  Some individuals upload pictures to imgur and just insert the link which allows you to view a less compressed image.   I think I've derailed this post...   

Actually, I'm interested in what it is you're seeing specifically when viewed on this site that looks overly compressed. Or maybe more specifically, what it would look like if it weren't overly compressed. 

 

ETA: Some of any weirdness may come from the fact that that image was post-processed using Photoshop Express on my iPad because i didn't have my Mac available at the time.

Edited by MidCenturyMoldy

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That side of the building makes me most happy. The Noguchi sculpture garden has always been a hidden oasis, but this will connect it to the museum at long last. Views from the restaurant (behind the white wall) should be stunning. The building insets as well as the slight cantilever of the second story ensures that it doesn't overwhelm the park-like space. Can't wait for it to be completed.

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22 minutes ago, DarklyMoron said:

That side of the building makes me most happy. The Noguchi sculpture garden has always been a hidden oasis, but this will connect it to the museum at long last. Views from the restaurant (behind the white wall) should be stunning. The building insets as well as the slight cantilever of the second story ensures that it doesn't overwhelm the park-like space. Can't wait for it to be completed.

 

I was thinking about that last night. What occurred to me is that the new Glassell plaza actually opens everything up even more. Before, the Noguchi garden was entirely closed off from view from the street. Now the garden will be open to view on two sides and be much more inviting.

Edited by MidCenturyMoldy
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31 minutes ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

Huh? The photo was actually shot raw. What is it you're seeing that you're calling "overly compressed?" Here's the photo straight off the camera memory card, converted from raw to non-compressed jpeg, with no changes whatsoever from how it was shot other than reducing the resolution from 300 pixels/inch to 72. 

IMG_1919raw.jpg

 

Maybe he means the color correction, changing the highlights and shadows as well as straightening the verticals...which are standard when post processing any images especially for architectural photography (regarding the vertical corrections). I will say that the corrected photo does have funky HDR look to it and it does feel soft which could be the source of the weirdness.

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6 minutes ago, Luminare said:

I will say that the corrected photo does have funky HDR look to it 

 

I try to keep the "HDR" look to a minimum...I guess sometimes I don't succeed at that. Maybe I need to up the contrast a bit. I've already noticed, because of this discussion, that the original has some chromatic aberration (color fringing) that couldn't be removed on my iPad but can be removed on my Mac.

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2 minutes ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

 

I try to keep the "HDR" look to a minimum...I guess sometimes I don't succeed at that. Maybe I need to up the contrast a bit. I've already noticed, because of this discussion, that the original has some chromatic aberration (color fringing) that couldn't be removed on my iPad but can be removed on my Mac.

 

Same. I normally edit my photos with higher contrast, but then again that's just what I prefer in photos. I also normally up the structure, sharpness, and clarity. I actually like what you did with the greens and blues. Maybe its the dude in the front of the image that is throwing things off. In the unaltered photo the amount of shadow works, but for some reason in the corrected photo its as if he isn't in shadow at all even though he is stepping into the tree shadow. Maybe it just needs an alteration in with highlights?

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30 minutes ago, Luminare said:

Maybe its the dude in the front of the image that is throwing things off. In the unaltered photo the amount of shadow works, but for some reason in the corrected photo its as if he isn't in shadow at all even though he is stepping into the tree shadow. Maybe it just needs an alteration in with highlights?

 

It definitely doesn't help make anything easier that there's a giant blob of sunlit white on one side of the photo. Especially when that blob of white is an integral part of the photo.

 

Quickie new version below. I don't know why, but this shot looks a lot better on my screen in Photoshop than on my screen on this website?

 

 

 

SMALL.jpg

Edited by MidCenturyMoldy
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1 hour ago, Luminare said:

 

Maybe he means the color correction, changing the highlights and shadows as well as straightening the verticals...which are standard when post processing any images especially for architectural photography (regarding the vertical corrections). I will say that the corrected photo does have funky HDR look to it and it does feel soft which could be the source of the weirdness.

 

This right here.   I thought it was compression artifacts but you correctly identified it as color correction.

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Ugh!  I feel like this is such a missed opportunity to create a truly iconic building.  The final product is turning out to be soooooo mediocre. 😕

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28 minutes ago, MarathonMan said:

Ugh!  I feel like this is such a missed opportunity to create a truly iconic building.  The final product is turning out to be soooooo mediocre. 😕


how so?

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2 hours ago, clutchcity94 said:


how so?

 

Steven Holl and mediocre. One of these is not like the other. I mean I don't know about you, but when I think Steven Holl...I think mediocre. /s

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3 hours ago, clutchcity94 said:


how so?

When I see it, I don’t think, “WOW!”  To me, the building’s lines are not very striking.  Even though it’s footprint isn’t rectangular, it looks boxy.  And I know that a lot of Holl’s work is boxy, but this is boxy in a not-so-interesting way.  The tubes don’t Intrigue me, either.  They do add texture, but the way the short tube segments are mounted, very conspicuous horizontal seams are created that disrupt the vertical flow of the walls.  Hopefully they will do something to camouflage the seams.  And, hopefully the illumination at night will really elevate the look.  Renderings seem to indicate as much. Overall, I’m still hoping that it turns out better than my current expectation.  Time will tell.

Edited by MarathonMan
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29 minutes ago, Luminare said:

 

Steven Holl and mediocre. One of these is not like the other. I mean I don't know about you, but when I think Steven Holl...I think mediocre. /s

Steven Hill has designed some really great stuff.  I agree totally.  I think the Glassell School building is VERY cool.  It’s new neighbor, not so much.  I do think the roof texture is very intriguing.  Unfortunately, that will remain hidden from view from the street.

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I think we should wait to pass judgement until the building is open and we have had a chance to walk through the galleries and see how well the building displays the art, which is it's main function. 

I also think that once the building is complete and landscaped we might have something better to judge.

I always find it hard to see the building as planned with all of the construction equipment, fences, barricades and things that get in the way scattered around the site.

 

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23 minutes ago, MarathonMan said:

When I see it, I don’t think, “WOW!”  To me, the building’s lines are not very striking.  Even though it’s footprint isn’t rectangular, it looks boxy.  The shape could have been much more interesting.  The tubes don’t Intrigue me, either.  They do add texture, but the way the short tube segments are mounted, very conspicuous horizontal seams are created that disrupt the vertical flow of the walls.  Hopefully they will do something to camouflage the seams.  And, hopefully there will be a cool illumination scheme that will elevate the exterior at night.  Overall, I’m still hoping that it turns out better than my current expectation.  Time will tell.

 

13 minutes ago, MarathonMan said:

Steven Hill has designed some really great stuff.  I agree totally.  I think the Glassell School building is VERY cool.  It’s new neighbor, not so much.  I do think the roof texture is very intriguing.  Unfortunately, that will remain hidden from view from the street.

 

Well lets be honest, since when does one ever immediately look at a Steven Holl work and go...wow I like that. Not really, right? He is just one of those architect's whose works you do have to warm up too because often times they are so peculiar and odd looking. I would also ask you this, as someone who seems to know a thing or too about architecture and the architect in question, Holl being part of the school of Post-Modernism and in particular Deconstruction and Formalism, look back at your comments "its footprint isn't rectangular, it looks boxy.", "the short tube segments are mounted, very conspicuous horizontal seams are created that disrupt the vertical flow of the walls". Doesn't this seem exactly what a typical Post-Modernist of the Deconstructionist and Formalist variety would do? It almost seems like your critiques come from the standpoint that it is opposite of the buildings very objectives. Now they are valid critiques, and I can understand and even relate to them, but again it seems like the comments are diametrically opposed to the buildings actual objectives.

 

Thoughts?

 

EDIT: Further still, I think it would help to match your critiques with what the architect's original goals for this project were. Holl wanted this to be like an amorphous cloud of some kind or an amorphous shape which is influenced by cloud shapes which influence the curvatures of the roofs. Now we have to take his word for it, did he succeed in HIS objectives. I would say yes. Did he actually make a great building? I agree with @bobruss I think we need to wait and see for ourselves.

Edited by Luminare
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Just in passing, Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Bilbao, has been cited for making Bilbao Spain, a destination.

It's a truly iconic building, but as a place for exhibiting art it hasn't fared so well.

 

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For me, the success of a new museum building is how well it displays the artwork within, not in making some striking statement from the outside. Take the Beck and Law buildings. Mies' Law building is generally considered a better architectural statement. But the second floor gallery and Cullen hall are both large difficult spaces requiring a lot of intervention: extensive "temporary" walls, drapes to mitigate light, security challenges (why Van Gogh was moved to the other building), etc.  The Beck building is the opposite. Nothing much to look at from the outside, but the top floor galleries are really quite remarkable in both their scale and use of natural light. Yes, I'd like the best of both worlds and I'm still quite confident this will be a striking new building for Houston. But it's what happens inside the building that matters most.

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15 hours ago, DarklyMoron said:

For me, the success of a new museum building is how well it displays the artwork within, not in making some striking statement from the outside. Take the Beck and Law buildings. Mies' Law building is generally considered a better architectural statement. But the second floor gallery and Cullen hall are both large difficult spaces requiring a lot of intervention: extensive "temporary" walls, drapes to mitigate light, security challenges (why Van Gogh was moved to the other building), etc.  The Beck building is the opposite. Nothing much to look at from the outside, but the top floor galleries are really quite remarkable in both their scale and use of natural light. Yes, I'd like the best of both worlds and I'm still quite confident this will be a striking new building for Houston. But it's what happens inside the building that matters most.

 

I will confess that, as someone who likes contemporary architecture more than contemporary art, I was more excited about the building than the art inside it. I am still hopeful it comes out looking amazing.

 

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FWIW, I think the renderings look good, but in application the building is not coming out well.  In person, the tubes look like cheap plastic, and I'm not sure that is going to change when it is completed (in fact, over time I suspect they will look dingy and even cheaper).  Just my opinion, and hopefully it changes when everything is complete.  

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20 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

 

Well lets be honest, since when does one ever immediately look at a Steven Holl work and go...wow I like that. Not really, right? He is just one of those architect's whose works you do have to warm up too because often times they are so peculiar and odd looking. I would also ask you this, as someone who seems to know a thing or too about architecture and the architect in question, Holl being part of the school of Post-Modernism and in particular Deconstruction and Formalism, look back at your comments "its footprint isn't rectangular, it looks boxy.", "the short tube segments are mounted, very conspicuous horizontal seams are created that disrupt the vertical flow of the walls". Doesn't this seem exactly what a typical Post-Modernist of the Deconstructionist and Formalist variety would do? It almost seems like your critiques come from the standpoint that it is opposite of the buildings very objectives. Now they are valid critiques, and I can understand and even relate to them, but again it seems like the comments are diametrically opposed to the buildings actual objectives.

 

Thoughts?

 

EDIT: Further still, I think it would help to match your critiques with what the architect's original goals for this project were. Holl wanted this to be like an amorphous cloud of some kind or an amorphous shape which is influenced by cloud shapes which influence the curvatures of the roofs. Now we have to take his word for it, did he succeed in HIS objectives. I would say yes. Did he actually make a great building? I agree with @bobruss I think we need to wait and see for ourselves.

I’m not an architectural scholar, so the fact that Holl falls into the postmodernist/deconstructionist/formalist bucket has no bearing on my comments.  Nor does his particular intent with this project.  My observations are solely based on my gut reaction to seeing the building in person —  walking around it, looking at the shapes, angles, scale, materials, etc.  It just doesn’t do much for me.  Not like the Glassell School does.

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1 hour ago, MarathonMan said:

I’m not an architectural scholar, so the fact that Holl falls into the postmodernist/deconstructionist/formalist bucket has no bearing on my comments.  Nor does his particular intent with this project.  My observations are solely based on my gut reaction to seeing the building in person —  walking around it, looking at the shapes, angles, scale, materials, etc.  It just doesn’t do much for me.  Not like the Glassell School does.

 

I never claimed you were a scholar. I said, "as someone who seems to know a thing or two about architecture and the architect in question", and you do seem to have some architectural knowledge or at least know how to discuss architecture and spaces using the language architects discuss such things, but that doesn't mean you have to necessarily be a scholar. I'm also not claiming that it should have any bearing on your comments. Your opinions are your opinions, but I do think its wise to consider other perspectives to inform your own opinion, and I'm merely stating the fact that, in this genre of architecture, the standards of which I think you place on this particular building actually have no bearing on it either because that's not what this kind of architecture typically wants to live up too. This genre of architecture doesn't care about objective standards regarding shapes, angles, scale, or materials because it believes all of these are arbitrary and subjective without a way to come to a kind of objective beauty. While you might choose to ignore the architects intent with this building, it will leave out much of where this building is trying to come from because, again, this genre of architecture isn't about the building itself, but the architect that is behind it, and this building is merely an expression of themselves in this particular instance. Its why I agree with this comment:

 

5 hours ago, H-Town Man said:

 

I will confess that, as someone who likes contemporary architecture more than contemporary art, I was more excited about the building than the art inside it. I am still hopeful it comes out looking amazing.

 

 

because most contemporary art of today is observed with this in mind. That it isn't about the art in front of you, but the artist themselves, and so the only way, unfortunately, to understand what it even is at all is know what the artist was thinking or doing at that time.

 

Of course...in my personal opinion, its kinda bulls.h.i.t. but these are things which have to be considered.

 

Luckily most architects and architecture have moved past this in most respects and have become much more pragmatic with a blend of objective beauty and subjective beauty, the ability to stand-alone and be self-referential.

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On 12/3/2019 at 4:42 PM, DarklyMoron said:

But the second floor gallery and Cullen hall are both large difficult spaces ...

 

Just a note: It's Cullinan Hall, named for Nina J. Cullinan. With all the "Cullen" stuff in Houston it's an easy mistake to make.

 

Disregard if autocorrect is to blame!

Edited by MidCenturyMoldy
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16 hours ago, Luminare said:

 

[...] because, again, this genre of architecture isn't about the building itself, but the architect that is behind it [...]

 

 

This might be part of the problem.

 

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12 hours ago, MidCenturyMoldy said:

 

Just a note: It's Cullinan Hall, named for Nina J. Cullinan. With all the "Cullen" stuff in Houston it's an easy mistake to make.

 

Disregard if autocorrect is to blame!

 

Nope, that was just me being sloppy! Thanks and apologies to Nina.

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