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The Enigma of St. Petersburg’s Dali Museum

The Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida was designed by Yann Weymouth of HOK (who helped create the Louvre’s glass pyramid with I.M. Pei). This $36 million structure (2011) houses the largest collection of Dali’s work outside of Spain, more than 2,000 pieces including 96 paintings.

Image courtesy of Phaidon

The shell of the structure is built to withstand a Category 5 hurricane, works with numerous green system including a solar hot water powered de-humidification system, high efficiency HVAC and ventilation.

Said Yann, “We wanted to avoid the kitsch of melting clocks and “themed” surrealism, but sought, in a frank and abstract way, to make a reference to that contrast between Cartesian geometry and organic shape. Dali and Buckminster Fuller were longtime friends, both fascinated by the intrinsic geometries of nature; it seemed natural to make a strong contrast between the stark raw concrete box that protects and shelters the collection and the almost liquid, transparent and facetted form of the glass enigma”.

This impressive and thoughtfully-designed building is an must-see when in Florida!

Image courtesy of Phaidon

Image courtesy of Phaidon

Interior image courtesy of Inhabitat

BIM (Building information modelling) was used in the construction of the museum. 

Image courtesy of Inhabitat

Image courtesy of the Dali Museum Instagram page

Now through April 17, 2017 is Frida Kahlo at the Dali.

Kahlo and Dali each created artistic autobiographies and their personalities loom behind their paintings, generating a presence that both shapes and overshadows their works of art. While Kahlo largely rejected the term ‘Surrealism’ and felt that her works were as real as her life, Andre Breton, known as the founder of Surrealism, took great interest in her work and described her painting as a bomb wrapped in a ribbon.