Last weekend my husband and I went to Milwaukee to celebrate our anniversary. When people hear this they always say, "Why?" Simple answer, really. We love Milwaukee; it's a small, friendly sort of city, with a mix of beautiful Victorian buildings and new architecture, attractive development along the river, and enough to do and see for a pleasant weekend. Another benefit is that it's inexpensive compared to Chicago, a real bargain. We stay in a glorious Victorian hotel, the Pfitzer, eat at a restaurant called Sanford's, one of the best I've been to anywhere, enjoy the riverside walk and the microbreweries. And we go to the Milwaukee Art Museum. The most outstanding thing about the museum is the building itself. The building, which stands in a beautiful park overlooking Lake Michigan, features a new pavillion designed by the Spanish architect, Santiago Calitrava. The atrium roof lifts up when the building opens in the morning and lowers at night. It's also raised and lowered at noon so that visitors at that hour can enjoy the experience. The roof controls light into the center of the building, but is actually a giant kinetic sculpture, said to suggestion a bird in flight, a ship under sail, or perhaps the tale of large fish or whale.
Two views of the open position:
Here's an inside view of one corridor. If you think of the whole effect as whale-like, then this resembles the animal's ribs, I think. Can't you see it as the location for a futuristic film?
I'm perfectly happy if people laugh when we say we went to Milwaukee; maybe it will stay an undiscovered pleasure.