Arch. Myriam B. Mahiques Curriculum Vitae

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The knotted curtains of Chazen Museum, University of Wisconsin, Madison

I´ve always thought that the designs of the Argentine born architects Machado and Silvetti were like old fashioned, post modernist and didn´t show new investigations on design.
But this time, I am satisfied to see this beautiful project of knotted curtains inside the lobby of the Chazen Museum, University of Wisconsin. Though, this particular design do not belong to them but to the Dutch textile designer, Petra Blaisse, at least Rodolfo (with O) was bright enough to hire her. From the post by Molly Heintz, for

Rudolfo Machado, principal at the Boston-based architecture firm Machado and Silvetti Associates, was seeking a way to create a sense of place and privacy in the new glass-walled lobby of the Chazen Museum. Located on the campus of the University of Wisconsin in Madison, the 86,000-square-foot building is a freestanding extension of the existing museum designed in 1970 by Harry Weese. The new three-story structure, which opens to the public on October 22, houses galleries but will also serve as a space for performances and events, including both university-sponsored and private soirées in the lobby. “We needed something to help visually define the lobby from the courtyard, and we wanted it to be contemporary and site-specific,” said Machado.
Machado proposed commissioning a piece by Dutch textile designer Petra Blaisse, whose work had made an impression on him during a visit to the Casa da Musica in Porto, Portugal. Blaisse’s firm Inside Outside created massive knotted curtains that added texture to the OMA-designed space and also acted a screen for concert hall windows. Machado organized a trip for the Chazen’s director Russell Panczenko to Blaisse’s studio in Amsterdam, and Blaisse in turn visited the site in Madison. When she began to sketch out her vision of a semi-transparent curtain, Panczenko was convinced of the project’s merit as an artwork in its own right. “We have a textile collection here, so we were able to use accession funds for it,” said Panczenko, describing how the museum was able to cover the roughly $250,000 cost of Inside Outside’s installation.

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