Genoa Bridge Collapse: Thoughts & Contemplations

Genoa Bridge Collapse:

Contemplations on travel and architectural infrastructure.

Published by Zorana Kostovic | Associate | Project Manager

Truly disturbing news – a motorway bridge has collapsed in Genoa, Italy. The bridge, which was a little over 50 years old, unexpectedly collapsed after heavy rainfall. Tragically, over 22 casualties have been reported.

The images, and even a video of the bridge collapsing, instills people with a range of emotions from sorrow to despair. Many individuals are left wondering, how safe is an average days commute?

I generally have a soft spot for bridges – for the engineering as well as the beauty and social and cultural importance of bridges for every society. I like them new and old, long and short, high in the air and low above the water, for vehicles and for pedestrians…


Historic bridges like this one are my favorite – The Old Stone Bridge in Visegrad. Built during the XVI Century, Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge, has simplified crossing the Drina River between Bosnia and Herzegovina for over 400 years.

Final Thoughts:

I do feel disheartened when a bridge collapses or gets destroyed.

This is the one I don’t think I will ever forget – a clear demonstration of the laws of physics and seismic movements in action.

Kobe, Japan, earthquake of 1995

I have a serious problem justifying the destruction of bridges through war actions. I think it overall hurts more than it (temporarily) contributes. Some of the casualties of war that I know and care about: 60-yr old steel bridge over Danube River in Novi Sad (Serbia)& Old Stone Bridge in Mostar (Bosnia, XVI Century AD)

Žeželj BridgeSteel Bridge over Danube River in Novi Sad (Serbia, 1961-1999)


Stari Most Bridge – Old Stone Bridge in Mostar (Bosnia, XVI Century AD)

Zimmerman’s Milwaukee Public Museum Conceptual Design | Museum in the Park

Design Approaches to Museum Architecture

Zimmerman Architectural Studios – MPM Design

Museum architecture is the social product of a city & society. It is related to the history of a city & should fit into the existing urban fabrics. Museum architecture expresses a level of “monumentality” as part of its public function or social mission. This “monumental value” can be achieved through its symbolic expression of a communal building, a social gathering place, an educational resource, or a research center. Its architectural form serves as its own architectural characters.

Museum architecture’s basic function is to “serve” the artwork it surrounds. It plays a supportive role to “house” other works of art, rather than overpower the art with artistic aspirations of its own. Its interior design, room layout, & architectural form with historical associations should be designed with careful “neutrality.” “Neutrality” seems to satisfy what museum professionals expect of exhibition spaces. In other words, a museum should serve as a “laboratory” for visitors’ sensual perception & critical thinking. Kimbell Art Museum designed by Louis I. Kahn (1972) is a great example of this design approach.

Contemporary architects tend to have the motivation to establish the primacy of architecture over art. What really matters is not the art inside the museum, but the museum architecture itself. The exhibited artwork is thus considered as second-best or as decoration for architecture. This design approach to museum architecture considers a museum as a “public dormitory, entertainment center, or cultural shopping mall.”

Museum architecture has three components, namely exhibited spaces, administration spaces, & catchment spaces (reception, lobby, restaurant, cafeteria, library, gift shop, computer rooms, etc.). In the 19th century, the exhibited space occupied 90% of the museum spaces, while it only occupied 34% of the museums built in the past 55 years.

Too many museum buildings gave cities a new face & life, but little innovation/progress has occurred in the exhibition rooms, the very rooms for which the museum is built in the first place. A museum should present works of art in an environment where Space, Light, & “Emotional” Condition are ideal.

Which design approach do we take? Do we consider museum as (1) sculptural architecture (Guggenheim Museum-Bilbao, Frank Gehry, 1997), (2) the open museum (Center Pompidou, Renzo Piano, 1977; Guggenheim Museum-New York, Frank Wright, 1959), (3) a converted monument (Grand Louvre, I.M. Pei, 1989), or (4) museum with traditional manifesto (State Gallery of Stuttgart, James Stiring, 1984; J Paul Getty Museum, Richard Meier, 1997)?

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Milwaukee’s Coolest Office 2018


Our office… Our Design!

What’s better than to start your day in a calming “Urban Chapel”. Residing in the Menomonee Valley and bordering the Near West Side neighborhood, 120 architects and engineers – and all who join us here – contribute to the renewal of critical urban neighborhoods crucial to the continued revitalization of the region.

The Zimmerman culture fed the overall workplace design approach at its inception and the Zimmerman workspace itself continues to contribute significantly to maintaining that culture.  Talent that fits is attracted by the office space and its design contributes to maintaining the very unique soul of the organization.  Serious space co-mingles with playful space – such as the basketball hoop in the Gallery – both important to the Zimmerman culture.

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