Buffalo AKG Art Museum | The Plan
  1. Home
  2. Magazine 2023
  3. The Plan 150
  4. Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Buffalo AKG Art Museum

Look Here/Look Again

OMA

Buffalo AKG Art Museum
By Raymund Ryan -
Duravit, Schüco have participated in the project

Visual communication has always been a strong suit for OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture). In their earliest ventures from the late 1970s, the original OMA quartet – Rem Koolhaas, Madelon Vriesendorp, Elia Zenghelis and Zoe Zenghelis – beguiled design culture with their deconstruction and cinematic reassembly of modern architecture and urbanism. Almost a half-century later, OMA has evolved under Koolhaas’s direction into a complex, international organization with half-a-dozen partners including Fukuoka-born, Manhattan-based Shohei Shigematsu.

Driving today in Buffalo east on Scajaquada Expressway, a busy traffic artery cutting into the splendor of Frederick Law Olmstead’s Delaware Park, you offramp in a tight curve to encounter the north façade of the city’s great, neo-classical art museum; to the right, a new prismatic pavilion that resembles a greenhouse, perhaps even a bespoke circus tent; and, in the middle, tethering these two very different historic styles, a glazed elevated walkway looping its way around several old oak trees and reflecting swatches of both architecture and nature back to passers-by.

This bridge signals the intent, on behalf of the designers and of the museum, to connect old and new facilities and to prompt visitors to the institution in their exploration of site, spaces and remarkable works of art.

Turning south onto Elmwood Avenue, towards Downtown Buffalo, the full panoply of museum buildings is on view facing an expansive lawn. To the left, the new OMA pavilion draped in glass and with glimpses of interior life. In the center, the original 1905 Beaux Arts structure designed by Buffalo architect E. B. Green as a temple to the arts. Then, to the right, the beautiful if austere orthogonal pavilion designed by Buffalo-native Gordon Bunshaft of Skidmore Owings and Merrill (SOM) and completed to fanfare in 1962, at the chronological midpoint between the initial and...

Proceed with your preferred purchase option to continue reading
Digital

Digital

5.49 €
Printed

Printed

15.00 €
Subscription

Subscription

From 42.00 €
Choose subscription
Keep up with the latest trends in the architecture and design world

© Maggioli SpA • THE PLAN • Via del Pratello 8 • 40122 Bologna, Italy • T +39 051 227634 • P. IVA 02066400405 • ISSN 2499-6602 • E-ISSN 2385-2054
ITC Avant Garde Gothic® is a trademark of Monotype ITC Inc. registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and which may be registered in certain other jurisdictions.