Architect Cesar Pelli's buildings are considered works of art by many. So where better to learn about them than Philbrook Museum.
Tulsa's Philbrook will feature Pelli's architectural designs for the next two months. Of course, Pelli is also the man who is designing Tulsa's new downtown arena. News on 6 reporter Steve Berg takes a look.
Tulsans have heard the name many times over the past year, but how well do people know Pelli? Brian Ferriso with the Philbrook Museum: "I think it's critical for the community and our constituency to be educated, what does that mean? Why is he world-class? Why is he a great architect? Why was he selected to design a very important building for Tulsa?â€ The arena has been the most anticipated project in Tulsa in decades and will likely be the symbol of Tulsa for decades to come.
And Cesar Pelli's buildings tend to get attention. Always modern but always evolving, Pelli's designs defy a single, simple category. Steve Alter with Matrix Architects Engineers Planners: â€œwe needed a signature architect. I really wanted Tulsa to be like Chicago and other cities, known for architecture, as a destination, plus a new paradigm in arena design."
Philbrook brought in nearly 3-dozen models from Pelli's offices in Connecticut. Surprisingly the architects themselves were not worried at all about shipping them across country. Some of these were just in boxes, but visitors should find them endlessly fascinating.
The arena is at the center of the exhibit. While all around, there are models and photographs and video and paintings, providing an impressive overview of Pelli's body of work, as well as explanations of his 12 principles of design. Brian Ferriso: "You really have to create an environment rather than hanging paintings which speak for themselves."
It might be the same reason that architects still make models in this day and age, museum officials say to really appreciate architecture, and it has to be 3-dimensional. They hope people will come away from the exhibit with a new appreciation and understanding of Pelli.
The Cesar Pelli exhibit starts Sunday and runs until July 17th. Pelli himself will be at the museum for a June 2nd reception. Museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday from 10 to 5.
Admission for adults is $7.50. Kids 12 and under are free.