The Indiana University Music Arts Center is a neo-brutalist monument due to its various architectural features. The architect who designed the building had a neo-brutalist design structure in mind. The building has been used for numerous performing arts activities which include the acclaimed Opera. The building has a distinguished interior that talks of a new brutalist movement that is applied to architecture to create a unique and exquisite display of the prowess of the architectural profession that include the organization of space and the decoration applied to the building. This paper is going to consider many aspects of the buildings architecture and the profound effect it has on a visitor rather than a performer. The aspects to be considered include color, the different surfaces, and range of materials used to build it. How do these aspects affect an individual’s experience in various sections of the building? That is the question the paper will attempt to answer explicitly.
The Music Arts Center were completed in 1972. It is one of the unique examples of the neo-brutalist architecture in the modern world. The architecture was unique making it be named to be a monument of the neo-brutalist movement. The building’s effect on an individual is the central element of concern here. From the different colors used in the creation of an artistic interior top the outside surfaces of the building that have an aesthetic feeling attached to the neo-brutalist movement (Banham, pg. 5). The performance hall for instance is decorated with red color and it is also well lit to enhance its aesthetic view. To the exterior side, the building employs rectangular and curved shapes that fuse together to provide high level of aesthetic beauty. Furthermore, the various areas of the building that depict a neo-brutalist nature are a wonderful site to behold. The visual effect on the exterior and the interior of the building cannot be underestimated. For instance, the performing hall, where most performances are held was created to be a wonderful site that complimented the performance on stage. The building’s interior is itself considered to be a performance of sorts giving the visitors a first-hand experience that cannot be related to any other architectural design in the world.
The neo-brutalist movement was all about the application of architectural design in a way that the completed building would be depicted as a monument of strength and place its inhabitants in awe of its beauty. The design of such buildings was meant to expose the building’s function. Speaking in architectural terms, the Indiana University Music Arts Center can be considered to be a collection of repeated modular elements which are mostly favored by modern architects. The neo-brutalist movement consisted of buildings that were used as learning centers, places of work, civic megaliths and architectural monuments aimed at bringing people together. As in the case of the Music Arts Center, it lives to the true nature of the neo-brutalist movement.
The exterior of the Music Arts Center in a sense depicts the function of the building. The building was designed to provide performance services. It was said to be designed with respect to the Metropolitan Opera House. It, therefore, has a magnificent stage that puts the visitors in awe. The element of creativity and the beauty of art is evident right from the structure and the shape of the building. If fuses together various shapes that include rectangular and the curves from different angles to give the building a magnificent aesthetic view. Apart from its performance functionalities, the building is used to host many other functions including dressing rooms, practice rooms, ballet rehearsal facilities and classroom space. Furthermore, the building hosts facilities for production of textiles and has extensive carpentry shops. A visitor will, therefore, get a look at the exterior of the building and experience the nature of various facilities being hosted by the building. Essentially, the neo-brutalist monument was explicitly designed following the guidelines set for architects that ensured that their designs fitted the neo-brutalist unique architectural presence.
Color seems to be an important aspect to be considered when designing a building. In the context of the neo-brutalist movement. The color or painting of a building is considered to be the brutality of the building. To a visitor of the Music Arts Center, the painting of the exterior and interior of the building has so much influence in shaping an individual’s experience. The nice choice of color enhances the victors’ experiences where they enjoy the beauty of the structure. A dull color, grey, is applied on the outside and bright colors are applied in the inner side such as the performing hall which is painted red. Ideally, color changes the experiences of an individual. In the scientific context, different colors are responsible for individuals relating or acquiring different attitudes towards a given entity. The same can be said to be true for buildings designed with the neo-brutalist movement in mind. The color of the exterior and interior of the Music Arts Center has so much effect in influencing the course of an individual’s experience in the monument of neo-brutalist movement.
The interior of the Music Arts Center is composed of a mixture of colors that create an emotional connection to the building. The different colors used to paint the interior places which include the lobby, performing hall, dressing rooms, and classrooms create an avid effect on the first time visitor of the building. The colors or the painting can, therefore, be used or be said to have an effect on an individual. The individual will be exposed to different colors used to paint different parts of the interior. The colors were decidedly picked by the interior designers of the building to add a neo-brutalist touch to it.
The exterior of the building has not that much effect on the individual in terms of the effect of color. An individual’s experience can, therefore, be considered not to be that much influenced by the outside look of the Music Arts Center. Ideally, the exterior parts of the building were not that much considered as a color needing component of the building’ design. A further look into the design of the exterior shows that the initial designers of the building had not emphasized so much on the aspect of color. Therefore, the interior part of the building, which includes the lobby, classrooms, hall, and dressing rooms were painted using a specific set of colors that were considered to be effective in influencing the individual’s experience when first entering the building. Consequently, the color was an important aspect of the neo-brutalist movement. The neo-brutalist movement considered color to have an individualistic effect on the inhabitant of the building (Banham, pg. 7). The color was so important an aspect that it was used exclusively in interior parts of the Music Arts Center to create a neo-brutalist feeling in forming the individual’s experience.
The phenomenon of the neo-brutalist movement was one that was hard to incorporate into the design of the Music and Art Center. There are many considerations when designing a building. For an architect, these considerations are very important in determining the end functionality of the building. For the design of the Music Art Center, there were many important considerations. As in the performing hall, the main stage is about 90 feet wide and 60 feet deep. This sis just enough space for performing as well as providing a better view to the audience as a way of shaping their experience. On the other hand, the backstage occupies the largest area of providing enough space for technical work. The designers had to take into account the various needs and requirements for the building in relation to the art and music wings to be designed. It was, therefore, paramount that the designers use aspects that will integrate with the intended neo-brutalist design in an appropriate manner (Lichtenstein, pg. 79). Consequently, these considerations also had a very significant effect on how the building was going to impact on the different aspects that will strongly affect the individual’s experience as a first time visitor of the building. The culmination of the considerations gave purpose to the building as it was intended to while still retaining the aura of the neo-brutalist movement that was so much guided by the modernity of architectural designs.
Another important aspect to consider was the arrangement of different facilities in the Music Arts Center. For instance, the various facilities being offered inside the center have an overwhelming effect on an individual’s personal experience with interior design, structure positioning and functionality of the building all put together as vital components of the building’s neo-brutalist movement design. For instance, the seat arrangement was properly done in curved shape and enough space left to allow for ease movement within the building. It would, therefore, be prudent to say that the different facilities of the building affect the overall experience of an individual. Consequently, the various aspects that relate to the structure and arrangement of the building have a visual and physical effect on a visitor. In an instance where a first-time visitor has come into contact with the different design aspects of the building, he or she may come to the realization that the building’s core facilities that are implicitly designed have an avid effect on the individual experience of the visitor.
The important aspects of the neo-brutalist movement seem to have perfectly been culminated into the design of the Music Arts Center. The neo-brutalist form of architectural design depicts different historical aspects that come with the unique modernity represented in its design techniques. Design techniques that seem to have a corresponding profound effect on the individual inhabitant of the building. In this instance, the individual visitor is considered to the visitor of the Music Arts Center that has come to witness different performances of musical nature or even the display of specific artworks in the building’s vicinity. For the building to achieve this effect and heavily influence the experience of the individual, the individual would have to have a physical and visual connection with different aspects of the building. These connections will create an artistic impression on the visitor through the different analytical nature of the perceptions that the building creates. The overall individual’s experience with the building will be one that was formed through the culmination of different visual and physical aspects of the building’s design that relates to the neo-brutalist movement.
Indeed, the Music Art center is a monument of the neo-brutalist movement. The interaction of the visitor with the different visual, artistic and physical aspects of the building has an avid effect on an individual’s experience. It is an inarguable fact that the design was emphasized to be one of neo-brutalist nature. However, there were different aspects of the design that aimed at intensifying the individual’s experience in the building. Although most people do not comprehend the different design components of the neo-brutalist movement, there is a very big difference between normal architectural designs that makes the neo-brutalist movement stand out from the rest. The Music Arts Center, therefore, can be considered to impose an exquisite experience to an individual who is a visitor.
Banham, Reyner. “The New Brutalism.” (2011).
Lichtenstein, Claude. As Found: The Discovery of the Ordinary;[British Architecture and Art of the 1950s; Parallel of Life and Art, New Brutalism, Independent Group, Free Cinema, Angry Young Men, Kitchen Sink]. Springer Science & Business Media, 2001.
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