milwaukee (un)expected . .

Posted in opinion, other architects, projects by DS26 on 09.19.2010

As you may or may not know that we visited Milwaukee yesterday.

Sure we visited because there is the renowned Calatrava & Saarinen that meet in the waterfront :

Later on, we took a ride to a very familiar place (in books)… one of FLW’s last projects :

I even  found what would be my home if I were ever to have a home in the city… a renovated mid-century beauty :

But as the day went by, and our camera was tired of snapping, we found our way to an unlikely and architecturally unexpected place in the city…

the Harley-Davidson Museum

What do we know about Harley-Davidson?…

It screams ‘BAD-ASS’, ‘dangerous’… and possibly ‘mid-life crisis’ (to some).

What did we not know ?… (but perhaps should have…)

That ‘BAD-ASS’ architecture would come along with…

We were stunned, even from the moment we saw it over the highway.

Big, Bold, Cool, Dark, Structural… Volumes sit, very well composed, on the site :

Surely, the Architects got to play with the coolest of Structural materials… Gigantic Steel Sections, Cross Bracing…

At this point we like it… but it turned to love when we saw this :

Can you see it? … Custom 14-15 ft tall doors. Beauties… Now we had to go in, and certainly knew we were in for a treat.

Approaching the door we find that it is a copper finish. Nice. Open and you walk into an intermediate space (foyer) and you encounter the doors projected… next in what seemed to be brushed chrome.

Inside… just great. Still Cool, Bold, and Metal. A bit Rock & Roll…

And you know you got a winner when you visit a bathroom, and you find such customization :

If you did not see it, look down. The faucet is ‘active’ via a motorcycle gas pedal (clutch). Can’t get more bad-ass, can it?

Well, we kept walking and encountering… The Cafe :

The Shop :

And one of my personal favorites… an ‘I-Beam’ for a bench on the way out :

We would like to send props to PENTAGRAM ARCHITECTS in New York for a ‘BAD-ASS’ building… the Harley-Davidson staff loves it, they told us about you and your details ( and of things like the crazy sanding of the galvanized steel members, and the smooth opaque black bricks ) and could not stop… and now us.

By the way… those cool copper doors we talked about earlier… only a paint, surely a metal-finish paint. A pretty peny.

I guess Harley-Davidson love their bikes, love their clients… and love their Architects.   :)


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