The power of good architecture: entranced and enchanted at Mudam
It’s not very often that you come across a building that really makes you stand up straight and take notice, and which really captures your heart and imagination. When we visited Mudam – the first and magnificent contemporary art museum in the tiny nation of Luxembourg, we experienced one of these rare instances of architectural delight.
As previously shown on foldedcranes.com, Mudam was a place that really did delight us and made us very happy. One of the first things that struck us about this building – designed by Ieoh Ming (I.M.) Pei (perhaps his most well known architectural creations being the Louvre glass pyramids in Paris) was the way in which the new building was integrated into the ramparts of the ancient fortifications which are still standing on the site. Initially when we approached Mudam we wondered if the old and new meshed together as a whole, but as we got to know the building better, we quickly saw that this was far from the case, and instead that this was a building epitomised by a sense of true balance and harmony.
We thought that the way in which the roof line of the new building echoes the jagged edges of the ramparts was particularly clever, and the materials used seemed to us to be sensitively chosen to merge into the surrounding landscape in a fairly natural way. The unusual shapes and use of glass give the building a striking appearance, with the glass turrets conjuring up the turrets of a castle. The glass footbridge and asymmetrical windows were among our favourite features too.
Whilst the other buildings nearby were somewhat interesting in appearance, nothing could come close to Mudam. In the photo below you can also see the fantastic sculptures located between the fortifications and the body of the building.
As we approached the main entrance, we wondered, could the interior of the building match up to the exterior, which was unlike any other building we had ever seen? You’ll have to wait until the next post about Mudam to discover the answer…
Photos by CIA and PJD at Mudam Luxembourg, May 2012. There’s so much to say about this incredible place and we have many wonderful photos from our day spent there, so I’ve decided to share a series of posts about Mudam – the building and the art. So please look out for them in the coming days!