the hirshorn

In December, I declared my love of the Metro system, following a trip to Washington DC. Another thing that caught my eye in DC was the Hirshorn museum, completed in 1974.

The Hirshorn is unapologetically modern, both in its architecture and curated content. But while the art inside is mightily impressive, it’s the building that really captured my interest.

This wonderfully curvy concrete structure kind of resembles a giant donut, supported by four sturdy pillars at its extremes, which define an internal courtyard area and fountain.

And it’s a pleasure to wander around the Hirshorn. Wherever you are, whatever the angle, inside or outside, the building’s structure is a strong, integral part of its visual success.

It straddles the National Mall, blending in like a just-landed spaceship, to form part of the world-renowned Smithsonian Institution. Like most DC museums, it’s totally free.

In most cases, its design enhances the art. Not least with Warhol’s shadows (exhibiting during our visit) with 102 consecutive canvases, hugging the wall in a seemingly perpetual curve.

Of all the museums on offer in DC, this was the real standout for us. If you share our love of modern design, art and architecture, I’d strongly recommend visiting the Hirshorn.

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