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Visit at Heart Castle

Added on by suzy baur.

Umberto Eco,Travels in Hyperreality describing Heart Castle: 

The striking aspect of the whole is not the quantity of antique pieces plundered from half of Europe, or the nonchalance with which the artificial tissue seamlessly connects fake and genuine, but rather the sense of fullness, the obsessive determination not to leave a single space that doesn’t suggest something, and hence the masterpiece of bricolage, haunted by horror vacui, that is here achieved. The insane abundance makes the place unlivable, just as it is hard to eat those dishes that many classy American restaurants, all darkness and wood paneling, dotted with soft red lights and invaded by nonstop music, offer the customer as evidence of his own situation of “affluence”: steaks four inches thick with lobster (and baked potato and sour cream and melted butter, and grilled tomato and horse radish sauce) so the customer will have “more and more” and can wish nothing further.

An incomparable collection of genuine pieces too, the Castle of Citizen Kane achieves a psychedelic effect and a kitsch result not because the Past is not distinguished from the Present (because after all this was how the great lords of the past amassed rare objects, and the same continuum of styles can be found in many Romanesque churches where the nave is now baroque and perhaps the campanile is eighteenth century), but because what offends is the voracity of the selection, and what distresses is the fear of being caught up by this jungle of venerable beauties, which unquestionably has its own wild flavor, its own pathetic sadness, barbarian grandeur, and sensual perversity, redolent of contamination, blasphemy, the Black Mass. It is like making love in a confessional with a prostitute dressed in a prelate’s liturgical robes reciting Baudelaire while ten electronic organs reproduce The Well-Tempered Clavier, played by Scriabin.



Added on by suzy baur.

Through my new job with MSK Design Build, I got the great opportunity to check out one of our vendors, Crystal Cabinetry in Princeton, Minnesota, and with this a chance to explore a rare Minnesotan gems. Took tons of pictures of the Twin cities. Here are some highlights - mainly of Minneapolis. 



Evening Stroll, Downtown Minneapolis ...

Staying the Foshay Tower by Magney and Tusler (1929) turned out to be great location. Love the closeness to everything - especially to my favorite building, the ING 20 Washington by Minoru Yamasaki and Associates (1965). 


The Central Riverfront: 

Backstage tour at the beautiful Guthrie Theatre by Jean Nouvel (2006) with its midnight blue skin and stunning views. A walk on the  spectacular Stone Arch Bridge by Charles C. Smith (1883).  And a visit at the fascinating Mill City Museum - Adolph Fischer and William Barre (1880), rebuilt after the fire (1928), interior destroyed by fire (1991; renovation and new construction by MS&R Architects (2003). 


University, Nicollet Island

A walk along the Mississippi river to the coolest campus ever! Visit at the Fredrick Weisman Art Museum by Frank Gehry (1993), then a tour at the absolutely stunning Walter Library by Clarence H. Johnston (1925) and the fantastic Mcnamara Alumni Center by Antoine Predock (2000). 


The Walker Art Center, Lowry Hill

Another highlight: The Walker Art by Herzog deMeuron (2005) - a great space to enjoy art! Original by Edward Larrabee Barnes (1971); sculpture garden by Edward Larrabee Barnes (1988) and Designee-Dalnoky (2007). Too bad the sculpture garden was closed for renovation. 


Minneapolis Institute of Art, Whittier-Lyndale

Another fabulous place to enjoy art - tons of it from antiquity to modernity!
McKim Mead and White (1915), Hewitt and Brown (1916), Kenzo Tange (1974), and Michale Graves (2006). 


Christ Lutheran Church, Longfellow

Also went to see an early modernist masterpiece: Christ Lutheran Church designed by Eliel Saarinen (1949) with an education wing designed by Eero Saarinen (1962). Love how the four walls aren't parallel, the ceiling slants towards the undulating north wall and above all how the light pours in from a concealed south window. Beautiful materials, too.


And finally Crystal Cabinets, Princeton

Our stay at Crystal was fabulous with everyone being super nice and so generous with their time. It was great to meet everyone and to tour the factory. I was amazed how much is still made by hand. Much attention to detail! And much pride in their work! A very inspiring place to be and to work with!!

Euro Trip

Added on by suzy baur.

My trip to Switzerland this year took me again beyond Zurich as well as the Swiss border not only to visit with family as well as friends but also to enjoy fabulous art and architecture ... 


~ EUROPE BOUND over the East Bay and via Pfannenstiel ~

~ ZURICH in winter ~
Sunny but cold skies over old town and my Alma Mater. 

~ ZURICH by night ~
Especially beautiful around the Holidays. The town is always looking so festive decked out with tons of Christmas lights. 

~ ZURICH: University ~ 
Library at the Law Research Center, Santiago Calatrava 2004

~ ZURICH: Kunsthaus ~
Juan Miró Wall, Frieze, Mural - a fantastic exhibit on Juan Miró (1893-1983), a prolific artsit, whose oeuvre radiates an irresistible immediacy and material quality. 

~ ZURICH: Museum Haus Konstruktiv ~
(Un)Ordnung. (Dés)Ordre was put together in honor of Vera Molnár's nineties birthday. Born in 1924 in Budapest, she has lived in Paris since 1960 and is considered one of the ground-breaking pioneers of computer and algorithmic arts. A delightful exhibit! 
Learn more, check out Vera Molnar

~ BERN: The Museum of Fine Arts ~ 
Toulouse-Lautrec and Photography is a comprehensive exhibit on Toulouse-Lautrec, which pulls you right into his world of fin-de-siècle Paris and his fascination with photography. While I enjoyed viewing his lithographies, I was very fascinated by his oil paintings and especially his drawings! 
The second exhibit Embracing Sensation featured artist couple Silvia Gertsch (1963*) and Xerxes Ach (1957*). Each artist has their own artistic language regarding style, technique and materials. Gertsch's stained glass paintings are truly magnificent in technique and the way how they capture the sunlight  - bestowing to them an almost spiritual glow. Whereas Ach's painting have a fascinating textural quality about them radiating off shades of beautifully rich and deep colors. 

~ RIEHEN: Beyeler Foundation ~
A visit to the Beyeler Foudation is always a must. Designed by Renzo Piano, the museum was built from 1992 to 1997 and is situated in the park of the 18th century Villa Berower. Piano succeeded in immersing the building in the surrounding greenery while having it entirely lit by natural light. 
In 1915/16 The Last Futurist Exhibition on Painting should prove to be one of the most influential exhibits in the history of modern art. It was here that Kazimir Malevich (1879-1935) exhibit his Black Square. With In Search of 0,10 the Beyeler Foundation accomplished to put together yet again a brilliant exhibition, which is orchestrated into two parts: While 0,10  features most of the surviving works of the original show, Black Sun juxtaposes them with paintings, sculptures, installations and film of artists inspired as well as influenced by Malevich - such as Alexander Calder, Olafur Eliasson, Wassily Kandinsky, Yves Klein, Gerhard Richter, Richard Serra and many more. Loved it!

~ WEIL AM RHEIN: Vitra Design Museum ~ 
While in Basel, a quick drive to the Vitra Design is worth the detour!
Please also check out my blog on the Vitra Design Museum (December 13th, 2015) featuring more pictures of the campus and the Vitra Haus. 

~ BASEL: Basler Minster ~
Landmark of the city of Basel, the minster was built in red sandstone between 1019 and 1500 in Romanesque and Gothic styles. The so-called Galluspforte is one of the oldest Romanesque Tympana in the German hemisphere and dates back to 1185. 

~ ULM: Ulm Minster ~
The minster is the tallest church in the world, with a steeple measuring 161 meter. We climbed all the 768 steps of the spiraling staircase to the top to enjoy the magnificent view of view Baden-Wurttemberg and Neu-Ulm Bavaria. The foundation stone was laid in 1377 and construction lasted; but is was not until 1890 that the building was completed. The church consists of five naves, the main with a height of 41 meter being almost three times high as it is wide. The stained glass windows are stunning, and so are the wood sculptures of the choir seating. 

~ ULM: Die Malweiber von Paris at the Edwin Scharff Museum ~
A inspiring exhibition about German women artists of the early 1900s, who had the fortune to study art in Paris, at a time when it was considered indecent for a woman to develop artistic ambitions in Germany. Maria Slavonia (1865-1931) especially caught, especially her two self-portraits  from 1887 and 1910 respectively (center: Houses at Montmartre 1900, oil on carton detail). 

A visit to Hungary is always a treat. This time my travels took me to my relatives on the Western border, where I got treated like royalty, was served heaps of delicious food and shlepped all over the region: Meszlen, Szombathely downtown and art museum, Köszeg downtown and Sacred Heart Church, Novákfalva in Velem.... Köszönom szépen a kedves vendéglátast!

~ HOMEWARD BOUND over the Canadian Rockies to the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area ~ 

Oregon Lakes

Added on by suzy baur.

Some of the most serene places I have ever visited. So peaceful and awe inspiring.

Waldo Lake located in the Cascade Mountains, Central Oregon, is a gem of a natural alpine lake and one of the three most purest lakes world-wide. It is so pristine, it is almost transparent. Paulina Lake, located in the Deschutes National Forest, is equally mesmerizing - my favorite lake of all times. 

Top: Waldo Lake
Middle (from left to right): Little Lava Lake, Devil's Lake, Timothy Lake with Mt. Hood
Bottom: Paulina Lake

LA.7: The Norton Simon

Added on by suzy baur.

This museum has just made it to my top ten list of favorite things. I love everything about it: the stunning building along with its beautiful sculpture garden and exquisite art collection. The museum was designed by Ladd & Kelsey and opened in 1969. In 1998-99 the museum was renovated by Frank Gehry along with Greg Walsh and landscape architect Nancy Goslee. 

It is so enjoyable walking around this wonderful building featuring Heath ceramic tile cladding and rounded corners. I caught myself thinking of Richard Serra's Band (2006) by doing so. It meanders through the property spreading its four arms and revealing a delightful sculpture garden and café in the rear. The sculptures by Barbara Hepworth, Henry Moore, Jacques Lipshitz, Aristide Maillol, Auguste Rodin and many others seem thoughtfully chosen and displayed around the pond and amongst the colorful shrubs. The Café invites you take and seat and revel in the peacefulness of the garden. 

When entering the museum and walking through the galleries, I noticed once again how thoughtfully the sculptures were displayed. The collection of Degas sculptures is remarkable. However it was the collection of paintings that has left me stunned. Featuring works by outstanding artists from the 14th through the 20th century, the collection has many a highlight to enjoy. The three paintings by Zurbarán, especially The Birth of the Virgin (ca.1627), are magnificent. And so are the two small works by Edgar Degas, Olive trees agains and mountain background and Wheat Field and Green Hill (both ca. 1892). I am also in love with Still life with Flower (1887) by Emile Bernard. And there is Vassily Kandisky's Unequal (1932). I could go on and on and on…. best to go and see it yourself. 

Located on 411 West Colorado Blvd, Pasadena CA 91105
To learn more, visit Norton Simon
heck out Heath Ceramics
heck out Ladd & Kelsey
heck out Nancy Goslee Power Associates


While in Pasadena, make sure to check these out… 

Top left: The Gamble House by Charles & Henry Greene 1908; 4 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena; Reservations highly recommended. 
Top center: The Cole House by Charles & Henry Greene 1906; 2 Westmoreland Place, Pasadena
Top right: Mansion Fenyes by Robert Farquhar 1906; 170 N. Orange Grove Blvd, Pasadena; to visit, check out Pasadena Museum of History
Bottom left: The Bentz House by Charles & Henry Greene: 657 Prospect Blvd, Pasadena
Bottom center: The Millard House by Frank Lloyd Wright 1923; 645 Prospect Blvd, Pasadena
Bottom right: The Millard House by Frank Lloyd Wright 1923; 645 Prospect Blvd, Pasadena

Talking museums….. here is a list of my favorite ones in LA: 

The J. Getty Center for the Arts
- located on 1200 Getty Center Drive, Los Angeles CA 90049
- architect: Richard Meier (1992-97)
- highlights: pavilion, garden, patio system; extensive painting, manuscript photo collection
- visit The Getty

- located on 5905 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90036
- architects: Pereira & Associates (1964), Hardy, Holzman and Pfeiffer (1982-83)
- highlights: largest museum of the western states; huge collection
- do not miss James Turell's Ganzfeld in the Resnick Pavilion (make reservations @ iPad kiosk)
- visit LACMA.

A + D Museum  
- located on 6032 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles CA 90036
- will relocate to the Arts District and is expected to open in spring/summer 2015

- highlights: continuous exhibits on architecture and design 
- visit A + D

- located on 250 South Grand Ave, Los Angeles CA 90012
- architect: Arata Isozaki (1983-87)
- highlights: European and Amercian contemporary art
- visit MOCA

The Broad
- located on 221 South Grand Ave, Los Angeles CA 90012
- architects: Diller, Scofidio + Renfro
- highlights: contemporary art collection of philanthropists Eli & Edythe Broad
- to open September 20th, 2015
- visit The Broad
- to learn more, check out Mega Patron

LA.6: Eames House

Added on by suzy baur.

Built as part of John Entenza's Case Study House Program, the Eames Studio House (#8)  is one of America's great 20th century houses. Charles and Ray Eames purchased the lot in 1945 shortly after they had moved to California. Initially designed jointly by Charles Eames and Eerio Saarinen, the original plans of a cantilever were changed during the construction phase (1947-49) to accomodate the current lay-out. The final design consists of two metal-framed double-height boxes - one pavilion used as residence, one as studio. Set against a eucalyptus-covered hillside, the Eames House overlooks a beautiful meadow with a magnificent view of the pacific ocean. 

We got lucky enough to enjoy an outstanding private interior tour, which was didactically very well thought out. For almost three hours we immersed ourselves into the world of Charles and Ray Eames. The open, maximized space of the interior was very impressive and their collection of memorabilia astounding. Apparently the house has not been altered over the years; kitchen and furniture - all is still original.  We left with a fulfilled and inspired heart taking with us one of Charles Eames fitting quotes: "We take our pleasures seriously" . 

Located on 203 Chautauqua Blvd, Pacific Palisades CA 90272
To learn more, visit The Eames House
To learn more about the Case Study House Program, visit  Art & ArchitectureWikipedia and CurbedLA

Aa a side note: driving along Chautauqua Blvd, you will notice a Brutalist cliff hanger. In case you are curious, it was built in 1979 by Robert Bridges….

LA.4: Hollyhock House

Added on by suzy baur.

Barnsdall Art Park has many highlights to offer. First and foremost it is home to the Aline Barnsdall Hollyhock House by Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959). Originally built between 1919 and 1921 as a private home for oil heiress Aline Bransdall, the 5,000 square foot abode - including the eleven surrounding acres - was donated to LA in 1927 as a public art park in memory of her father Theodore Bransdall. It has just been nominated as a UNESCO world heritage site. 
Closed due to extensive restoration since 2003, it will reopen on February 13th 2015 and this much to my delight. I'll have to got back soon to view the interiors; I hear the fire place is spectacular. If you happen to visit, make sure to walk around this magnificent building to get a view of the Wading Pool and Pergola designed collaboratively by R.M. Schindler and R. Neutra (1925). The Garden Wall and Landscaping were designed by R.M. Schindler, as was the Studio Residence A located at the entrance of park. If you happen to get there in the late afternoon, remember to take a breather: sit on the lawn and enjoy the beautiful view. 

Barnsdall Art Park is located on Hollywood Blvd at Vermont Avenue, East Holywood. 
To learn more, visit Barnsdall Art Park
To learn more about the restoration, visit Boulin Art


More Frank Lloyd Wright….

Top left: Storer House, 1923 on 8161 Hollywood Blvd, West Hollywood.
Top center: Wright House, 1928. On 858 N. Doheny Drive, West Hollywood. 
Top right: 
Millard House, 1923. On 645 Prospect Crescent, Pasadena. Its famous view is from a gate on Rosemont. 

LA.3: LA Phil

Added on by suzy baur.

The Disney concert hall, located Downtown LA, Civic Center is a curious building. Designed by Frank Gehry, it built between 1988 and 2003 with numerous changes being made to the initial design. The exterior seems almost adventurous with its many concave as well as convex surfaces, sharp edges and brilliant reflections. The matt stainless steel panels are be rather bright on a sunny sky and when stepping closer you can feel the heat radiating off. The interior seems equally swooping with is curved galleries and red carpet. However the spruce representing the material wood instruments are made of, is an equalizing contrast to the shiny exterior. The Blue Rillon Garden on Level 3 is a very pleasant surprise in the midst of Downtown LA. 


More to see Downtown LA ….. 

Top left: The Broad, Diller Scofidio + Renfro; opening fall 2015. 
Top center: 
Hall of Records, Richard Neutra and Robert Alexander, 1961-62. 
Top right: LA Department of Water and Power with reflecting pool, Albert C. Martin 1963-64. 


Top left: LA Performing Art Center; Mark Taper Forum with reflecting pool, Welton Becket Ass. 1964-69. 
Top center: 
Eastern Columbia, Claude Beelman 1930. 
Top right: 
High School for the Visual & Performing Arts, Coop Himme(l)blau w/ HMC Architects, 2002-08. 

LA.2: Our Lady of Angels

Added on by suzy baur.

The Cathedral of our Lady of Angels is located Downtown LA on the northeast corner of Temple Street and Grand Ave. It was designed by Raphael Moneo and built in 2002. 
Quoted as one of the most beautiful spaces in LA, this cathedral with its tinted cement walls and alabaster windows takes your breath away. The light that floods through the magnificent thin panels is mystifying and spiritual. Moving in the space, let's you experience it in a fascinating way. 

LA.1: Theater @Ace

Added on by suzy baur.

The United Artist Theater (1927) was designed by Charles Howard Crane; building architects were Walker and Eisen. After an extensive remodel by Commune Design, it was reopen in 2014. The interior is a feast in Spanish Gothic style and a marvel in materials as well as colors. Mary Pickford, one of the founders of the United Artists, apparently contributed a fair amount to the design. 

To learn more, visit Historic Los Angeles


A great place to stay….

The Ace Hotel next door. 

Centre Le Corbusier

Added on by suzy baur.

The Maison l'Homme of Zurich, Switzerland, today the Centre Le Corbusier / Heidi Weber Museum, is an inspiring art museum, which I always make a point of visiting when I am back home. 

The center was commissioned on the initiative of Heidi Weber, owner of the interior design gallery Mezzanin. She met Le Corbusier (Charles-Eduard Jeanneret, 1887- 1965) in 1958 in Roquebrune Cap Martin and maintained a close professional relationship with the architect throughout last years of his life. 
Thanks to her inspiration and tenacity, Le Corbusier completed his sketch of the kind of dream house he had been working on since 1950. Heidi Weber's vision was a museum / an exhibition hall serving as the perfect space to house Le Corbusier's works of art - a Gesamtkunstwerk reflecting all aspects of his oeuvre: architecture, sculptures, paintings, furniture, design and theoretical writings in unified harmony. Construction began in 1964. The center was completed in 1967, after the death of Le Corbusier. 

To learn more, visit Heidi Weber Museum.

Abbeye de Fontenay

Added on by suzy baur.

The Abbeye of Fontenay, near Montbard Burgundy France, was founded in 1118 by Saint Bernard de Clairvaux, abbot and primary builder of the reformed Cistercian order, and it is considered to be one of the oldest Cistercian abbeys. Beautifully restored through the initiative of Edouard Aynard in the early 20th century and well maintained by the Aynard family to this day, it became a Unesco World Heritage Site 1981.

Fontenay is one of the most complete abbeys in Europe and my absolute favorite abbey to visit. The interior of the church wonderfully reflects the aesthetic as well as spirit of the Cistercian order. Devoid of any pomp, its magnificence is characterized through simple, pointed arches and beautiful latticed glass windows. It is the light in particular shining through that lets you experience the spirituality of this glorious space. Simplicity and quietness is also featured throughout the complex, most significanlty in the cloister. In the capitals for instance there are no decorative motifs - such as figurines or images so poplar with the Benedictines - only floral themes like leaves and flower buds. This abbey truly is an inspiring site. 

To learn more, visit Abbeye de Fontenay

Euro Trip

Added on by suzy baur.

With our hometown being out base, this trip took us to beautiful Alsace and Burgundy to enjoy fabulous wines, delicious food and medieval architecture. 

~ EUROPE BOUND over the North Bay ~

~ ZURICH on a rainy day ~

~ ZURICH on a sunny day ~

~ ZURICH: Reliefs at the Grossmünster ~

~ BASEL: Kristof Kintera at The Museum Tinguely ~ 
The museum was
designed by Mario Botta and opened in 1996. It houses a permanent collection of the works of Swiss artist Jean Tinguely (1925-1991), whose kinetic sculptures never fail to delight the young and the old to this day. Therefore the Museum Tinguely provides a fitting backdrop to the works by Czech artist and sculptor Kristof Kintera (1973*). 


Please feel free to check out also my blog on the Abbeye of Fontenay (September 02, 2014). 


Neues Museum

Added on by suzy baur.

This was a long awaited dream of mine. On our recent Euro trip we made it all the way up to Berlin and spent an entire day, if not two, on the Museumsinsel, devoting most of the time to The Neues Museum. It was built from 1843 to 1855 according to the plans by Friedrich August Stüler (1800-1865), a student of the prominent Prussian architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1781-1841). Over the decades, time took a heavy toll on the museum and it was in danger of being demolished. In 1997, David Chipperfield and Julian Harrap were chosen to overview the rebuilding and renovating of this UNESCO world heritage site. The museum officially reopened in 2009. 
I thoroughly enjoyed wandering through the museum and catching myself time and again being more fascinated by the renovation than by the actually art collection itself.  I loved how Chipperfield and Harrap accomplished to gently restore and touch up the building while leaving murals, mosaics, columns or sculptured unfinished or just filled in and juxtaposing them with modern materials.