A small gem in San Francisco

A few years ago, I discovered a small building, just off Union Square in San Francisco. The only Frank Lloyd Wright building in San Francisco, an small art gallery. A small gem if you ask me.

Eyeing down the street, you would never imagine to find one the 16 buildings by Wright designated by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) as “making a significant contribution to American Architecture” (source).

Xanadu Art Gallery | San Francisco | Frank Gehry

When you take a closer look at the facade, it’s clear that this small square brick building is the work of a great architect:

The building houses an Asian art gallery: Xanadu Art Gallery and if you ask the guard nicely, you can take as much pictures as you want.

Frank Lloyd Wright designed the building in 1948. Originally it was a V.C. Morris Gift Shop. Once inside I got overwhelmed by the spiral ramp: a stylistic exercise for the ramp in the New York Guggenheim.

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Besides the stairs, I especially liked the glass bulbs of the ceiling:


Walk through the gallery (thank you You Tube!):

Seen from the top of the stairs, the ramp looks like this:

Street address
140 Maiden Lane, San Francisco (California), United States.

More info
Mimoa file and a beautiful article with lots of background info.

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Dia: Beacon
Copyright Cheetah Explores

I’m a big fan of contemporary art and when I’m travelling I have to visit at least one museum. A few years ago I went to  Dia:Beacon in Beacon (New York State) and I’m still sorry that I didn’t take more pictures of the interior of the place, because I thought it wasn’t allowed. But I still can share those few shots I took…

You can find Dia:Beacon on the banks of the Hudson river. I drove up to the museum from Poughkeepsie, but you can easily take the train from New York. A trip by train along the Hudson is one of the most scenic train rides you can image (be sure to take a seat on the left side of the train when leaving New York). The train station is nearby the museum so you can just walk up there.

The museum is pretty interesting because it’s located in a former factory building (of Nabisco – National Biscuit Company). Natural light can easily enter the building thanks to the way the old factory was designed. The roof looks like a sequence of triangles that have a glass opening on one side and bricks on the other side. The glass opening welcomes the sunlight and the closed side is very useful to cool down the spaces.

Dia:Beacon roof

Dia: Beacon – interior
Copyright Lorenzo Meschini

The building is listed on the State and National Register of Historic Places.


Copyright Cheetah Explores

And of course the museum is not only worth a visit because of it’s architecture but also it’s art collection including works of Joseph Beuys, Andy Warhol, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Irwin and many more.

Robert Irwin, in collaboration with OpenOffice, conceived the masterplan to turn the factory into a museum. He also designed the gardens ánd the parking lot “in which each car is matched with a flowering fruit tree” (source).

Street address

3 Beekman Street, Beacon, New York, United States