To start the semester off right, a group of APX-ers skipped down to Toledo for a much warranted visit to the masterful Toledo Glass Museum. A project completed by the multiple award-winning, Japanese architectural group, SANAA, the building is a must-see architectural gem that we are fortunate to have located so near by the University.
The building is not only an exquisite feat of craft–made entirely of large, rounded, glass panel walls seamlessly meeting the ground plane–but also provided a pleasantly light atmosphere for us Brothers to mill around and enjoy. The museum houses TMA’s world-renowned glass collection of over 5,000 works from ancient to contemporary times. In addition to the glass artwork and special visiting exhibitions, the museum also hosts free glassblowing demonstrations that APX may just have to return for in the future.
Aside from viewing the art, taking pictures, and engaging in good conversation, our group had the most fun simply experiencing the spatial and material qualities of the building together, which itself is a complete work of art. Brother and grad student Matt Rheingans tipped us off about the museum’s tradition of showing the inner workings of the building to architecture students when asked. The highlight of the trip was getting our own personal tour through the building’s entire basement and all its hidden spaces! We came to realize, the real remarkability of the building lies in its skill in hiding all mechanical systems below the main floor to achieve the effortlessly delicate and floating first floor structure which has become so well-loved.
After thoroughly enjoying the Glass Museum, we popped across the street to enter into the contrasting, traditional architecture of Toledo’s main art museum for another free art experience. On the beautiful snowy day it was, we couldn’t help but enter back into the glistening, glass masterpiece one more time for a stop at their coffee shop before getting back on the road to Ann Arbor. The Toledo Glass Museum was a delightful, educational, and inspiring way to start of the semester and we hope to go back soon!
Written By Patty Hazel
Photo credit to Colleen Fellows