At 11:11 am on January 11, 2011, the newly made-over Salvador Dali Museum opened its doors to the public. Located bayside in St. Petersburg, Florida, the museum boasts its contrasting concrete "treasure box" with light and bubbly triangulated glass forms. The very well known design firm, HOK, took on the task of creating a building that could capture the essence of the surrealist movement, withstand stage 5 hurricanes and not compete with the art work inside the museum. While some argue that the architecture does not speak of the dream-like quality that is found in surrealist paintings, others criticize that the architecture is a distraction to the art work inside. However, I believe HOK did a beautiful job creating a museum that is aesthetically interesting, has some elements of surrealist ideas and is quiet enough to not steal attention away from the art.
Three Images Above via DailyFix
I visited the Dali Museum several years ago and from what I remember, the building was very plain and ordinary. There were a few fun Dali-inspired benches and sculptures surrounding the museum but other than that, I really just was focused on the artwork inside. This newly designed structure is nicely balanced and anything more grandeur would risk being obnoxious.
B&W photos via DailyFix
The interior of the museum has very beautiful curves and fluid lines that wind you throughout the gallery space. HOK placed a spiral staircase in the center of the building, which is reminiscent of Dali's fascination with the double helix and other spiral forms in nature. The staircase is my favorite element in the museum. My next trip to Florida will definitely include a stop here.