Look!: Quadracci Pavilion at Milwaukee Art Museum

Look!: Quadracci Pavilion at Milwaukee Art Museum

Heather Blaha
Jan 9, 2007

Right before the Biedermeier exhibit closed, we finally made our way up to the famed Milwaukee Art Museum last month. Well before viewing the exhibit halls and collections, we realized that the Quadracci Pavilion is reason enough for many visitors to make their way to Wisconsin.

Completed in 2001 by architect Santiago Calatrava, the pavilion boasts a dramatic, moveable winged structure on top - the Burke Brise Soleil. The awe-inspiring shape, view, and size made us feel like we didn't know what would happen once inside....

The Brise Soleil opens when the Museum opens at 10 a.m. and closes when the Museum closes at 5 p.m.; except Thursdays when the Museum closes at 8 p.m. The Brise Soleil may stay open later some days due to special events. The "wings" also "flap" (close and open) each day at noon for visitors' enjoyment.

With fin size ranging in length from 26 to 105 feet, the Brise Soleil wingspan spreads 217 feet at its widest point, wider than a Boeing 747-400 airplane, and weighs 90 tons. Unprecedented in American architecture, the Burke Brise Soleil's design is also unique among the moveable structures Calatrava has created in Europe

The museum's website has some great photos, but here are a few of our own. Look for some shots we took from the 20th-century collection later this week!

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