Architect Farshid Moussavi designed MOCA Cleveland as a city ornament, unfolding over time
Posted October 05, 2012 in Articles
Author: Steven Litt, Plain Dealer Reporter
With Frank Gehry, you get shiny curves. With Daniel Libeskind, you get jagged shards. And with Farshid Moussavi, you get something different every time.
The 47-year-old London architect, a native of Iran who has become a new rising star in the world of design, has avoided giving her buildings a signature look.
Her plans for a residential complex in Nanterre La Defense, just outside Paris, call for a stack of rectangular slabs set off-kilter to one another like shuffled cards that haven't been aligned yet.
The John Lewis Department Store and Cineplex in Leicester, England, is a shimmering box veiled in multiple layers of glass imprinted with ceramic curlicue patterns that can be opaque or semitransparent, depending on the angle.
And for the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, Moussavi's first building in the United States, she has enclosed four levels of gallery, retail, office and educational spaces in a shimmering, crystalline shell wrapped in slightly undulating, reflective panels of black stainless steel.
The building, located at Euclid Avenue and Mayfield Road in Cleveland's University Circle, rises from a hexagonal base to a square top, producing facades shaped either like triangles or trapezoids. They tilt in or out, reflecting the surrounding streets and sidewalks or the sky, depending on the angle. A four-story triangle of glass on the building's northeast facade announces the lobby and main entrance; diagonal window stripes on other facades admit light to the interiors.