Steven Holl has a talent for designing great museums. The Nelson-Atkins museum of art in Kansas City is just that: a great museum. The addition to the existing building (called the Bloch building) is formed as five objects (lenses) spanning between the existing building and the sculpture park outside. The movement between the new objects and the landscape forms a changing view and also an addition to the old building when it comes to experience.
The fact that Holl speaks of "lenses" for the five objects in the park also has to do with the interior quality of them: they all filter light in a different way.
And here we come to the part that Holl has done quite brilliantly in the Nelson-Atkins museum: the interplay of inside and outside. From the exterior, the museum looks like a monolithic object, while from the inside there is a whole different world of different kind of exhibition spaces.
From the outside, at night, the building parts look like gigantic lamps in the landscape. From the inside, the large blocks fall apart into spectacular spatial fragments.
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