For those of you who are from Minnesota, you know about the Walker. (If you don't, definitely click here and give yourself a treat) It's quite a beautiful meld of art and architecture. The original building was designed by Ed Larrabee Barnes in 1971. It stood tall on the West side of Minneapolis, serving as a landmark for years. Its attitude was non-specific and treated all sides of the building similarly. Most importantly, it had a social impact on the city since its opening. I've been referring to the building in the past tense, and that's only because Herzog & de Meuron designed the addition in 2003 and it was erected in 2005. To this day, the addition to the Walker stands as one of the most well received (and expensive) contemporary pieces of architecture in the Midwest, or greater United States. Of course, this assertion will vary depending on who you talk to.
In my studies this fall, I'm using the Walker to further my own investigations and design propositions for a Contemporary Art Center on a different Minneapolis site. Below I have some images of those explorations. I leave you with this: What social and/or physical role should architecture have as a Contemporary Art Center in Minneapolis?