Four years ago, I asked to be driven 100 miles north of our home in Chicagoland to see my favorite building in this entire world, as a birthday gift. It did not disappoint. It was even more magnificent than its pictures suggest.
It's the Quadracci Pavilion, part of the Milwaukee Art Museum, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava. It is a building that flaps its wings. Literally so.
Unprecedented in American architecture, the Burke Brise Soleil is a moveable, wing-like sunscreen that rests on top of the Museum’s vaulted, glass-enclosed Windhover Hall. The "wings" open Tuesday–Sunday at 10 a.m. with the Museum, close/reopen at noon, and close again with the Museum at 5 p.m.; except on Thursdays when the Museum closes at 8 p.m.
It's quite an experience to watch the building move. I saw the Burke Brise Soleil open at 10 a.m., flap at noon and close for the day at 5 p.m. It was a dream come true.
A few more pictures from my collection can be seen here.
The Museum itself is like any other small museum. We just missed a traveling Renoir show and the permanents exhibits are fine museum pieces. It's just that the building enthralled much more than anything that was inside at the time.