Sunday, May 26, 2013

Human Scale in Danish Modern Architecture

Today we visited the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, and during this excursion we were able to experience first-hand how Danes incorporate a human scale to their buildings and artwork. When we first arrived in the museum, we immediately noticed this important aspect of the culture:

A lobby in Louisiana Museum of Modern Art 
The low-hanging ceilings provide the perfect scope for our natural viewpoint. We also see that there is plenty of window space for natural lighting, another aspect of the room that facilitates human livability and scale.  Another interesting characteristic of the room is the many plants growing around the framework of the building. Our philosophy of happiness course focused on how architecture 'speaks' to us about certain visions of happiness, and the emphasis on plant-life and the natural world tells us that people can't possibly flourish without a recognition of our fundamental connection with the nature. We see this again in the side view of the Louisiana Museum:
Side View, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
The overgrown plants on the side of the Louisiana Museum façade reinforces the importance and ultimately the power of nature in our lives. Within the halls of the museum lies some very valuable artwork made by human beings, but we maintain a humble attitude about our accomplishments; nature is ready to overcome them at a moments notice.
Back View of the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art
We continue to see the theme of human scale in the back of the building. The white portion of the museum was the original structure, and the brown portion was a later addition. The later addition blends into the surrounding landscape, which cements in our minds the importance of both humility (the natural world is overpowering here) and a focus on the individual. Inside the museum, one room stood out in particular in representing these themes:
Exhibit in the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art

We see an elegant simplicity in the room, with its bare walls and brick floor. We see a lone figure peering out into the outside world, filled with trees and a pond. This figure calls for us to follow its lead and take notice of the natural environment. There is a single portrait on the wall to the left of the figure, which may be interpreted as showing the interplay between the natural and the man-made. The colors of both the portrait and the outside are similar, and as such we can find a little bit of both in each. The exhibit is not presenting a hard dichotomy between nature and manmade, but instead invites us to explore how each interact with one another and to find exactly where the edges bleed over.
Overall, our trip of the museum was enlightening and spoke further on the specific vision of happiness Danish architecture and design speaks to us. For the Danes, the ideas of human scale and dynamic interplay between nature and humanity cannot be separated from the lives they live within these spaces. 

No comments:

Post a Comment