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.
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.
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 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.”
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.
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.
Get more information at Studio Libeskind.