herzog and de meuron — caixa forum
the best thing about contemporary architecture outside of the u.s. is the way it gets integrated into the fabric of the historical city. the new herzog and de meuron designed caixa forum (http://obrasocial.lacaixa.es/centros/caixaforummadridedificio_es.html) in madrid is shoe-horned into a narrow site bordered by tiny streets and looks like the junky space craft from ‘alien’ landed on top.
an old pink brick warehouse-style building was cut off at the knees and seems to float off the ground. in itself, that would look startling, but add an enormous, rusting, perforated steel-clad hulk to the roof and you get crowds of curious viewers.
the texture of the old pink brick and the tracery of the rusty steel are beautiful against the planted wall of the building that fronts paseo del prado. we didn’t get inside (and i hate it when buildings look good from the outside but don’t function well inside) but as a sculptural form in the context of the city, this gets 5 stars from me…
paseo del prado, 36 madrid