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The theme of this issue is in many ways continuation of the last issue’s topic where we discussed if we should take pleasure in architecture, like we enjoy art, or it should provide us with the pleasure of comfort and other positive effects of spending time in modern buildings. Now we are taking that question one step further by addressing the issue of exhibition buildings which interiors serve as display areas for other types of art. How can we achieve moderation in this type of architecture? Should this moderation even exist? How can architecture achieve all the characteristics of an art piece and not jeopardize presentation of something else? Here we face again the issue of the duality of the architectural character. This duality lies in the fundamental distinction – whether the building should satisfy functional requirements and just act as a “white canvas”, or, perhaps, it should be able to send a message to visitor “if you do not like what you came to see, look what I’ve got”.
Present time indicates that the most desirable exhibition spaces for displaying contemporary art are old buildings that once served another purpose and are usually in a poor condition. If we look at the issue from this angle we can conclude that this is fundamental and the right way of generating the „architecture for displaying“. In that way the old building – that otherwise could have been torn down, is kept and it is given a new life. It is unpretentious, indistinguishable, and it exists only to please. What about the buildings built after the Guggenheim museums in Bilbao and New York, and the ones that are yet to appear as results of future competitions? Why should anyone imitate, for a lot of money, something that already exists and is virtually for free, giving it features that deviate from its original purpose? Should an architect determine on his own the extent of attractiveness of his project, in the visual sense, and allow other art form to develop within the building? This seems as an unattainable goal, especially because of the architects’ great vanity. From this standpoint it can be concluded: “Do not do the best architecture make the best facility for a specific purpose”. This sounds like something that can not be defined by parameters that make architecture good or bad. To me, though, it also sounds as though giving alms to other arts.
editor in chief: Marko Stojčić/ MÜRITZEUM /