Thursday 25 April 2013

Ulster Museum


The Ulster Museum in Belfast.

An incredibly successful marriage of old and new, the two wings of the Ulster Museum blend together beautifully, creating a harmonious whole.

It's almost impossible to tell where one ends and the other begins. The new wing is a stark contrast to the classical 1929 wing.

Classical features of the original building have been extended towards the extension's concrete cantilevers blending the two styles together, sensitively blending the two styles, the concrete galleries colliding with and enveloping the classical detail.

The 'old' wing was designed by James Cumming Wynnes and was completed in 1929.

The new wing was designed by Francis Pym and was completed in 1972.

Huge, seemingly random, entirely featureless blocks of concrete express the layout of galleries behind the extension's facade. The completed whole looks like a massive sculpture.

One of the sculptures outside the old wing

a different view

a sculpture at the front of the new wing.

the entrance hall of the new wing.

One of the current major attractions at the museum is the 'Age of Dinosaur' exhibition which opened on 18 May and will run intil 16 September and is one of the most popular events - on both visits the museum was full of kids that were really excited about the event.

Not everyone has been as happy however. The museum's director got letters expressing concerns about the Ulster Museum's Nature Zone exhibits. A press statement was released: 'We fully accept that the theory of evolution is the view of the majority of scientists, but it is important to note that evolution is a theory and not a fact. A visit to the Ulster Museum would not give that impression. Indeed, the very clear assertion is made across the entire 'Nature Zone', that evolution is a fact. This, presumably quite deliberate, error is further compounded by the complete absence of even the merest mention of any other theory of origins such as the Biblical account of creation, for which there is strong scientific evidence'.

And the earth is flat!

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