A Word a Week Challenge: Angle


The Milwaukee Art Museum in Wisconsin


The Reiman Bridge leading to MAM.


View from inside the Quadracci Pavillion


Looking toward Lake Michigan

The sun breaker allows plenty of light and a feeling of space,

Manipulating  the brise soleil allows multiple variations of light.

The Spanish architect, engineer and sculptor, Santiago Calatrava designed the Quadracci Pavillion at the Milwaukee Art Museum (MAM). The pavillion’s highlight is the mechanical brise soleil which extends to a width of 217 feet.

The French words Brise Soleil translate to “sun breaker” in English, and then into architectural lingo meaning permanent sun-shading structure. At night and during bad weather, the brise soleil folds down to shelter the pavillion.

Since 2001, MAM’s brise soleil has become a graphic symbol for Milwaukee. The first time I visited MAM, the striking sun breaker reminded me of massive sails on a tall ship or the wings of a ginormous phoenix. More than a decade later, it makes me think of an extraterrestrial space ship or the tail of a skeletal-white whale. This is what happens when you move to California.

Interestingly, Calatrava also designed the Port Authority Trans-Hudson Terminal (PATH) at Ground Zero. In The New York Observer, some Manhattanites said the wing-like structure is reminiscent of a large rib cage, or a stegosaurus. According to Fast Company, Calatrava admits to some biological inspiration in his design and is known for keeping the skeleton of a dog in his office, a gift from a former veterinary student and friend.

Join in Sue’s Angle Challenge HERE

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11 thoughts on “A Word a Week Challenge: Angle

  1. Pingback: a word a week photo challenge: angle | my sweetpainteddreams

  2. richardhaas8

    Thanks for this shot. The museum is just as spectacular inside as it is on the outside. And always an interesting display. When my son lived in Milwaukee, this was a must do whenever I went to visit.
    Thanks for sharing.

    1. Judy Lesko Post author

      Hi Richard, I agree, lots of wonderful art in a great setting! And Milwaukee’s a fun city to visit. I like the food, too. Thank you for sharing your thoughts : )


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