Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Art Museum of Western Virginia

Dear Art and Architecture Lovers,

I was driving down the road in Roanoke, Va., minding my own business, just trying to find the Wonju exit so I could go see my dear friend from West Virginia days. Then, wow, I wanted to drive right off the road and see what was going on!

This my friends is the visual definition of supercalifragalisticexpialidocious. (sp?) I did not, due to the rush of traffic and an equivalent acceleration of good sense jump the concrete banister and land like a bundle of dropped groceries on Market Street, but I did, after a brief consort on Colonial Ave., demand a tour of the downtown construction.

I was photographically unarmed and disappointedly so. However, I have since discovered that both the city itself and other travelers have made the imagery quite available. The city has set up a delightful web cam, delivering desktop updates at intervals. I have set the one linked to my shortcut at 10 seconds so I can watch constructioneers do specific tasks and can be a traffic voyeur.

The source of a great tour, though, is Jennifer's Picasa site. She was obviously as enamoured as I was but armed, and with a photo weapon and skill unavailable to me anyway. Her site has a goodly number of tours, from New York City to Robin's wedding, but this one is stellar.

If you visit the web site of The Art Museum of Western Virginia, you will find that: "The Art Museum’s new 81,000 square foot facility has been designed by emerging Los Angeles architect Randall Stout, principal of Randall Stout Architects, Inc. and an internationally admired proponent of sustainable “green” architecture. The building is a dramatic composition of flowing, layered forms in steel, patinated zinc and high performance glass that pay sculptural tribute to the famous mountains that provide the city’s backdrop and shape the region's spirit. The new facility will be constructed on Salem Avenue, between Market Street and Williamson Road, at one of the most visible intersections in downtown Roanoke."

If you visit the web site of Randall Stout Architects, you'll find that the group is: "Known for its evocative design aesthetic, Randall Stout Architects consistently challenges architectural conventions, while transforming light, shadow, form and material into dynamic architecture." For those of Tennessee connection, they also designed Hunter Museum in Chattanooga.

Did I ever tell you that in my next life I want to be an architect?


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