Architecture in Minneapolis II
The banks of the Mississippi were populated with cyclists, runners and dog walkers when Adrian Saxe and I cruised along in July. As others rode and ambled, we navigated by rented automobile. I wanted to see the museums, and had the Frederick Weisman Museum on my list. It’s located on the campus of the University of Minnesota, and I found the best view from across the river.
It’s phenomenal that Minneapolis has cultural buildings by so many world-class architects. In contrast to the sleek blue work of Jean Nouvel at the Guthrie, the Weisman is a curvaceous, complex and undulating grouping of forms. It is strikingly different when viewed from the river or from the street level. One can enter the museum from the underground parking garage—and the pedestrian experience is complex as well. Frank Gehry’s use of exposed structure is evident throughout. I found an unusual and delightful feature: a room that contained the drawings, models and design process for the building.
So how is it that the citizens and philanthropists of Minneapolis have made possible such visible, prominent and striking architectural landmarks? Whatever the many reasons, it’s an impressive group of buildings. Saxe and I had been informed upon arrival that “In Minnesota there are only two seasons: Winter and Construction.” The short season for building only makes the architecture more of an impressive accomplishment for the city.