POTD: Vertigo

POTD: VertigoVertigo
Denver, Colorado
2015

I’ve been to the Denver Art Museum a couple of times now and still the main staircase is a little disorienting. The sides of the stairway are not perpendicular to the direction of the steps themselves; they angle to the right. So if you start on the right hand side of the stairway and go straight up the stairs, you are continually getting farther and farther away from the handrail. Or if you hang onto the handrail as you go up, you are climbing the steps at an angle. Strange, and the angles of the upper floor openings just add to the disorienting feeling.

6 thoughts on “POTD: Vertigo”

  1. You’re right Steve, Escher would have been pleased, although eventually disappointed perhaps–I walked up the stairs to all the levels in the museum without every ending up where I started.

  2. Dan, I wasn’t familiar with Libeskind so I looked him up. I liked the look of the outside of a number of his projects, but of course couldn’t see the insides. I wasn’t however, that impressed with the outside of the Denver Art Museum–thought it looked kind of like a failed Gehry project (albeit much more angular than the typical Gehry). Inside, the staircase was actually kind of interesting in a fun-house way but not very practical. You could march right up the stairs like normal if you put your mind to it and ignored the confusing visual cues, but why should one have to concentrate so just to get up some stairs? The rest of the interior though wasn’t disorienting like that and reasonably pleasing to the eye I guess but certainly didn’t make any strong statement, which was surprising after that staircase. I don’t remember anything else being obviously anti-functional like the staircase. I didn’t have any trouble navigating the restrooms for example–an important consideration!!

  3. Vertigo indeed! I thought maybe you had shot this with an extreme wide-angle lens or fisheye lens!

  4. Ah, a building designed by Daniel Libeskind, I believe! Larry, I take it you are not into Deconstructionist architecture that was all the rage in the late 90s and early 00s. It’s a good example of architectural theory and a desire to be cutting edge taking priority over the design of quality, habitable spaces that people actually enjoy being in. As someone who generally likes and supports contemporary architecture, this is one style I just have never warmed to.
    Curious as to what you think of the building as a whole – I’m guessing your thoughts on the stair case is a good reflection?

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