July 7, 2007

Munich (Germany)



A few days in Munich...

We originally planned to return the rental car at the Munich airport but decided to keep it for a few more weeks because of how much it has extended our reach. There is no way we could have reached many of the sights with the limited time in each city. And at 25 euro/day, it was affordable.

We visited (3) Herzog & de Meuron projects in Munich.

The first was the Kunsthalle in den Funf Hofen, an art museum addition in the heart of the city, with characteristic use of perforated copper operable vertical shudders, and an interior hanging garden. The museum cafe ceiling was lined with translucent 'droopy' lamps, which gave the feel of sitting under a strange pond. There were some beautiful courtyards within the mall complex (along the Salvator Passage) lined with more perforated copper panels and some minimal sculptural pieces.

Next was the Goetz Art Gallery, a small cube form white-timber-panel building, with a band of clerestory windows wrapping the top. The building was on private grounds (only accessible by private appointment which we did not have) so we could only view it from the street and over the fence.

The final Herzog & de Meuron project was the Allianz Arena, an iconic-in-form football stadium clad with several thousand air-inflated plastic-foil panels. The arena appears to be white from a distance but the panels are actually clear with thousands of little white dots silk screened on them. The arena can be lit to red, white, or blue (respective home team colors), but we didn't see this because we visited during the day. The
designer seats on the interior are slick, but there have apparently been some complaints about comfort. We were impressed with the form of the arena under the skyline.. the panels were very dynamic. Up close, they almost appeared as shiny glass and gave curved and stretched reflections. From a distance, the pure form seems to hover lightly above the ground, almost as an alien craft. The many weather balloon shaped parking garage posts complemented this feel.

We met up with our friend Chika who recently moved from Osaka to Munich. She showed us around her new neighborhood and we caught-up over lunch at an outdoor cafe. She even burned some new cds for us to listen to in the car, a great gift as we were getting tired of the few we brought along!

1 comment:

  1. yeah! it was relly good to see you guys in munich. :) time fries sooo fast on the day though..next time, let's meet up in your town, seattle! and, happy to know you liked my present! go to the showcase by raster-noton! ;) ciao, ciao.

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