Questions You Can Ask a Building

Questions You Can Ask a Building

From the first moment you encounter the Guggenheim Museum, you are aware that it is different from other buildings. By comparing your responses to the following list of questions you can better appreciate its uniqueness. These questions can be used to 'interview' any building and better assess the impact that architecture has on our aesthetics and environment.

Observation from Outside

  • Where is this building located?
  • What is the first thing you notice about this building?
  • List five words you would use to describe it.
  • Does it remind you of any natural or manufactured form or object? What is it?
  • What materials is the building made from?
  • What colors, patterns, textures, and/or decoration do you see on this building?
  • Why do you think they were used?
  • How many floors does it have?
  • How is this building similar to or different from others along the street?
  • What is this building used for? How can you tell?
  • When do you think it was built? How can you tell?
  • How do you enter this building?
  • From looking at the outside of the building, describe what you expect to find on the inside.
  • Make a sketch of what you envision.

Observation from Inside

  • List five words to describe your experience of the inside of this building.
  • How is it similar to or different from other buildings you have visited?
  • How is it similar to or different from what you expected?
  • What activities are people engaged in?
  • What sounds do you hear?
  • What architectural shapes do you see?
  • Where is the center of the building?
  • How do you get around the building?
  • What is your favorite spot within this building? Your least favorite?
  • How would you describe this building to a person who has never been here?

Questions That Require Research

  • What is this building's history? What was on the site before it was built? 

On View

This presentation, comprised of selected materials from the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum Archives, pays homage to the first Frank Lloyd Wright–designed structures in New York City.

Works & Process

Photo: Petrus Sjövik

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