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De Young Museum

Herzog & de Meuron

Yet again, the architects Herzog & de Meuron have made a building that might be termed paradoxical. Amid the lush foliage of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, their new, copper-clad de Young Memorial Museum reads as both mass and volume. It can be interpreted as both a tailored box—cut into and indented—and a conglomeration of broad interior spaces that crisscross and segue seamlessly past each other.
Paradox for these ambitious Swiss architects is not the same as irony, or sarcasm. Paradox is not cleverness for cleverness sake. Induced by their careful study of building elements, and of the spaces these elements help define, the paradox of Herzog & de Meuron’s architecture serves, admirably, to engage our senses. First, vision. Then the brain. Finally the human body as it moves and begins to explore the fullness of the built object.
From the park, the de Young Museum...

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