THE PEAK AND FUTURE OF MUSEUM GROUPS IN CITY CENTERS. NEW AND MODERNISED MUSEUMS IN PARIS, MADRID AND MUNICH (Rozkwit i przyszlosc zgrupowan muzeów w centrach miast. Nowe i zmodernizowane muzea w Paryzu, Madrycie i Monachium)
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The opening years of the twenty first century confirmed the success of museum groups in city centres which have proved to be attractive, convenient and pleasant for the visitors, especially when located next to promenades, parks and gardens. Excellent examples of such initiatives include Parisian realisations in the vicinity of the Louvre: the modernisation of 'Orangerie' and the 'Jeu de Paume' pavilion, as well as along the Trocadero - Eiffel Tower - Palais de Tokyo route: the construction of 'Musée du Quai Branly' and the modernisation of 'Musee Guimet'. In Madrid, 'Paseo del Prado' has been enhanced by an expansion of 'Centro de Arte Reina Sofia' and the erection of the 'Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum', while the area of the Munich Konigplatz has witnessed the emergence of a third Pinakothek - the 'Pinakothek der Moderne'. All these museum groups have come into being in mid-town districts featuring an attractive landscape. The history of museum design will indubitably include the unusual composition of 'Musee du Quai Branly' together with its integral interior, the conception of a 'tour river' full of bays and beach-heads, and a heterogeneous façade treated as 'architecture parlant', producing associations with a jungle and an interior presenting exotic art and folklore: a combination of unusual elliptical showrooms with an exposition of the Water Lilies by Monet. The 'Jeu de Paume' pavilion and 'Musee Guimet' are examples of a total exchange of the interior while leaving the historical facades. This is the way in which Rafael Moneo redesigned 'Palacio Villahermosa' into 'Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza', to which he added a new contemporary wing in the recesses of the garden. A successive expansion - Jean Nouvel's 'Centro de Arte Reina Sofia' in Madrid - consisted of linking three exhibition blocks, auditoria (together with a restaurant), a theatre, and a library, all standing below a gigantic roof and realizing the postulate of the harmony of the arts. One of the largest art museums in the world - the third 'Pinakothek' in Munich, is a combination of numerous archetypes of museum architecture, perfected by Braunfels and blended into an excellently working and magnificent synthesis. The facades and the flowing interior of 'Musee du Quai Branly', the library interior of 'Centro de Arte Reina Sofia', the lighting in the third 'Pinakothek' and its sculpted Rotunda will become a permanent part of the history of twenty first-century museum architecture.
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