12Cloisters Art Museum Final

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  • 7/30/2019 12Cloisters Art Museum Final


    The Cloisters Museum, New YorkProject by: Trevor and Shotaro 7/18/11



    The museum building was designed by Charles Collens (18731956), the architectof New York City's Riverside Church, in a simplified, paraphrased medieval style

    which incorporated the cloister elements. The process of idealizing and creatingthe building began in the early 20th century. It has continued to be a host to

    many different types of art and renovations since.

    Joseph Breck (18851933), a curator of decorative arts and assistant director ofthe Metropolitan, and James J. Rorimer (19051966), who would later be named

    director, were primarily responsible for the interior. Balancing Collens's

    interpretation with strict attention to historical accuracy, Breck and Rorimer

    created in the galleries a clear and logical flow from the Romanesque (ca.

    1000ca. 1150) through the Gothic period (ca. 11501520).

    Cloisters Art Museum, New York Abbaye Saint-Philibert, Tournus

    Pictures-Cloisters Art Museum, Gardens (Google Maps)/ http://hubpages.com/hub/Why-Id-like-


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    Site Environment/Birds Eye View (Google Maps)

    The site is located by the Hudson River, sheltered by thick layers of trees. The building itself has many noticeable features from a birds eye view. The roof mainly

    consists of sharped edged formations. However, Collens also develops rounded roofs,

    which produce a structured division between shapes and dimensions. The court yard is bounded by the buildings walls. Yet, there are also openings located

    between the arches of the building and by the roof less ceilings.

    An identifiable characteristic of the garden are the brick paths placed in a shape ofcrosses.

    The court yards of the medieval monasteries were meant to be utilized as a place ofisolation and meditation. Today, the gardens provide a place for the vegetation to grow

    and provide a stylistic coordination between the plants and the buildings theme. People

    can take a tour within the building and observe both the art inside the building and the


    Identifiable patterns are located within the building as the rooms tend to be clustered,each room divided by thick stone walls.

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    What are the various program components and how are they organized in thebuildings?


    1. Entrance Hall

    2. Romanesque Hall

    3. Fuentiduena Chapel

    4. St-Guilhem cloister

    5. Langon Chapel

    6. West Terrace

    7. Pontaut Chapter House

    8. Cuxa Cloister

    9. Early Gothic Hall10. Gothic Chapel

    11. Nine Heroes Tapestry Room

    12. Hall of Unicorn Tapestries

    13. Boppard Room

    14. Burgos Room

    15. Spanish Room

    16. Late-Gothic Hall

    17. Froville Arcade

    18. Books and Reproductions

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    Plan View, Labeled Rooms Ma, Cloisters Museum


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    Lower Level, Plan View-Trevor

    Main Level, Plan View-Trevor

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    The other, neutral galleries were arranged around the Cuxa Cloister to allow theeasy circulation of visitors from the entrance through rooms organized

    chronologically from Romanesque to Late Gothic.

    With its four separate chapels, each is representative of a step in thedevelopment of medieval architectural styles. He made sketches to show this

    neat chronological progression paralleling the traffic pattern. (There is a sketch

    showing the traffic pattern)

    What are some of the spatial ordering principles observed?-According to the plan view, we can conclude a trend towards a structure

    which forms rooms in a clustered manner yet, also developes opening with the

    use of archways and roof less gardens.

    What is the relationship between the inside and the outside, between thearchitecture and the natural environment?

    -Enclosure within the building tends to be fairly consistent. The open sky and

    vegetation is mainly incorporated within the gardens. This then created a strong

    contrast between the gardens and the rooms of the buildings. Yet at the same

    time, these contrasting effects are brought together by a unifying theme.

    What is the general character of the architecture - formal, natural, ordered,random, etc.?- The general character of the architecture is Monastic from Romanesque to


    "I think it would be well to develop one scheme in which the monastic form is

    accurately adhered to; a second scheme with a paved courtyard, with some of those

    buildings enclosing the cloisters,-"

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    Thematic Characteristics


    Romanesque Architecture-a simple, rectangular structure with three naves and a semi-circular apse at one


    Typical elements of Romanesque architecture include thick walls, barrel vaults,the semi-circular apse, carved portals, and little but predominantly geometric

    decoration- checkers, zigzags, etc.

    From its thick walls the building can then be generalized that Romanesquestructures are one of massive solidity and strength.

    Gothic Architecture-The pointed arch (courtyards), the ribbed vault, and the flying buttress

    Example of Romanesque Structure- St. Albans


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    The museum has a tendency to feel clustered due to its many walls withinthe main level of the structure. However, in some rooms, Collen seems to

    experiment with creating space in a skyward direction.

    The designer also utilizes elements of closed masses within the rooms ofthe museum with the exception of the tower and the garden. This

    opposition within a single structure can then be categorized as a form of

    special duality.

    What kinds of circulation or movement patterns are observed and how dothese reinforce the overall spatial organization?

    -"The other neutral galleries were arranged around the Cuxa Cloister to allow the easy

    circulation from visitors from the entrance through rooms organized chronologically."

    Cloisters Museum, Main Level

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    Cloisters Museum, Lower Level




    Columns are apparent in the alignment throughout the walls of the garden. Theyprovide both an expansion of space and stylistic appeal, while serving to hold

    structural purposes.

    By observation of the building, the structure mainly consists of brick, stone andmarble. Because these materials are conductors, it suggests a low temperature

    setting. This characteristic of the building suggests a contrast between the

    sunlight of the garden and the inside of the building.

    The materials consistencies and use of more past architectural styles throughoutthe structure provide the medieval features that the architect attempted to

    display. The structure dominates the total aspect of the building as thevegetation, the garden and other significant features serves to compliment the

    building rather then

    Picture of Cloisters Art Museum Building and Its Garden



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    What kind of materials are used externally and internally to reflect the environmental


    -Metal and Glass Roof

    Electric lighting and an upper story - were rejected, and finally Collens devised a glass

    roof that gave the impression of an atrium space without the hazards

    -Artificially weathered walls

    To create that atmosphere he artificially weathered his museum, a basilica plan brick

    shed, by hosing down the walls while the mortar was still fresh

    How does the architecture respond to various natural forces such as light, wind,and climate?

    Drawing on his architectural background, Collens saw the starting point for this

    recapturing of the past in the organization of space in the museum. "A museum of this

    character should be very intimate, should be self-enclosed, should have large rooms

    and the windows should be comparatively small, in order to obtain a subdued light."

    Example of light entrances within the Museum Structure


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    Different types of vegetation are located within the museum. The vegetationalso incorporates medieval themes as they were utilized in the past for practical

    uses such as herbal, fragrant and consumable purposes.

    The link below is a site dedicated to the gardens within the Cloisters Museum inNew York. They provide categorized information of the plants, divided by their

    unique qualities (scent, medical consumable). They also post individual

    information and pictures of each plant. We can see that

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