Architectural Profile: MO Museum by Daniel Libeskind

Architectural Profile: MO Museum by Daniel Libeskind

Opened in late October 2018, the MO Museum in Vilnius, Lithuania is the newest completed project by Studio Libeskind, an architecture firm headed by internationally recognized architect Daniel Libeskind.
view of angled glass facade on museum buildingg
Libeskind is an inspiration to me because he—like other great visionaries—was accused of imagining “unbuildable” buildings. Hence his first project was not realized until Libeskind was 52 years of age. So many cultures (including the United States) and subcultures (including the A&D community) value youth above all else. Libeskind’s late start is charming proof of what a mature mind can create.
MO Museum courtyard looking out to Vilnius, Lithuania
The new MO Modern Art Museum in Lithuania is a simple box at first glance. The viewer unwraps it like a present, discovering chiseled walls, glass facades, circular staircases, and swift cutouts. Negative space adds visual interest: the presence of absence gives the museum lovely balance.
interior of modern museum with white walls and big windows
Interior spaces and exterior courtyards play with concepts of inside and outside, old and new, simplicity and complexity. Studio Libeskind explains, “The MO Museum is conceived as a cultural ‘gateway’ connecting the 18th century grid to the medieval walled city.”
two visitors inside art museum sitting beneath circular staircase and skylight
The MO Modern Art Museum is dedicated to the work of Lithuanian artists. Libeskind’s architecture is “inspired by the historic gates of the city,” which may be why spaces give way to other spaces in a series of contrasts and transitions. Open stairs intersect the minimalist white box. White beams crisscross black-framed windows. Skylights interrupt white walls. There is even an interior glazed opening that exposes the collection storage vault.
view of white and black circular staircase
Living in Denver, I have the ability to walk through a Libeskind building at my leisure and pleasure. The Denver Art Museum’s angles and geometries create unexpected spaces, both vertical and horizontal, that frame the art. I imagine that walking through the new MO Museum will also enhance the art. Perhaps in an act of form following function, as visitors make their way through Libeskind’s building they will discover Lithuania’s modern art, locating a new artist behind every twist and turn.
exterior of MO Museum at night

Get more information at Studio Libeskind.

Posted January 2, 2019 by Alicita Rodriguez

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