A Museum To Never Forget: The National September 11 Memorial Museum and Pavilion opens to the public today in New York. The pavilion was designed by Snøhetta, and Davis Brody Bond designed the museum. Last week, President Obama spoke at a somber dedication ceremony, and inside looks have popped up in the news over the past few days. Press, survivors, families of victims, and others directly affected by the attacks were given advance access before the general public. But today will be the true test of this structure—can it successfully walk the line between educating and memorializing?
Critic Alexandra Lange writes on her personal website about her tour: "I thought I could review the National 9/11 Memorial Museum, which opens Wednesday, May 21. I can't. It's too soon." She continues: "At the 9/11 Museum there were so many opportunities to let the remains of the Twin Towers speak, but it felt to me as if more architecture and more design were instead laid on top."
The Guardian's Oliver Wainwright writes that the Snøhetta pavilion is "well crafted, but has the neutral, rather placid feeling of an airport lounge." He continues, regarding the museum: "Raised on plinths or mounted on the walls and dramatically spotlit, these gut-wrenching fragments are treated like Richard Serra sculptures, elevated into art objects with ghoulish glee, in a way that's not entirely easy to stomach."
In The New York Times, Holland Cotter describes it as "emotionally overwhelming." Alan Feuer writes in the same paper: "The local ambivalence is a complicated mixture of survivors' pride ("Don't tell me what I saw") and emotional fatigue ("I don't want to see it anymore")." Steve Kandell, whose sister was killed in the attacks, writes on Buzzfeed: "This tchotchke store — this building, this experience — is nothing more than the logical endpoint for our most reliably commodifiable national tragedy." [Buzzfeed; h/t Today in Tabs]
ICYMI: Phyllis Lambert, Hon. FAIA, is this year's recipient of the Venice Biennale's Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. [ARCHITECT]
Quote of the Day: "I do have a one-word suggestion about your future spaces — one shared by every artist I've spoken to. Rooms. Build rooms for art." —Art critic Jerry Saltz on how the Metropolitan Museum of Art needs to rebuild the Lila Acheson Wallace Wing. [Vulture]
Tweet of the Day:
Number of the Day: $20,000—Undergraduates at Auburn University's architecture school are working on the "20K House Project" to build affordable housing for local citizens. The goal of the project is to design houses that a contractor could build for $20,000 ($12,000 for materials and $8,000 for labor and profit). [Slate]
Instagram of the Day:
6 More Stories for Wednesday:
An unexpected data source on house vacancies: the U.S. Postal Service. [CityLab]
Philadelphia architect Shraga Berenfeld died yesterday at 73. [The Philadelphia Inquirer]
Wilmington, N.C.–based architect Charles H. Boney died last week at 89. [Port City Daily]
Gensler's Washington, D.C., office created this pop-up law office of the future. [The Washington Post]
Toyo Ito, Hon. FAIA, and Fumihiko Maki, Hon. FAIA, have started a petition against the 2020 Olympic Stadium designed by Zaha Hadid, Hon. FAIA. [Co.Design]
Step Up, Step Down:
Anita Makwana is now director of interior architecture and design at Ware Malcomb's West L.A. office.
The University of Miami selected Rodolphe el-Khoury as the new dean of the architecture school.
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