Interview with the Architect: Connecting with Rafael Viñoly
Widely acclaimed as one of the leading architects of his generation, Rafael Viñoly is renowned for his elegant and expressive use of structural form and modern materials such as glass and steel. His work also reflects sensitivity to context and an intuitive understanding of how to respond to a specific site—attributes that made him an ideal choice for the Cleveland Museum of Art's building renovation and expansion project.
Viñoly recognized that the original building, designed by local architects Hubbell & Benes and completed in 1916, should remain the focal point of our expanded museum, describing it metaphorically as a beautiful jewel set within a new ring. His proposal called for the complete restoration of both this landmark structure and the superb addition on the north designed by Marcel Breuer and completed in 1971, plus the addition of two symmetrical wings on the east and west sides. And at the heart of Viñoly’s design is a great, light-filled atrium sheltered by a gracefully soaring roof, central to the museum experience and serving as a gathering place in the city.
For #MuseumWeek, we go behind the scenes in our interview with the architect, as Viñoly explains his vision behind his redesign of the CMA, reflecting upon which parts of its story to rewrite and which parts to keep, just after the grand reopening of the museum.
What do you think about the new Cleveland Museum of Art? Tell us in the comments below, and see it for yourself at the CMA!
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