A Day in the Life has always been one of my favourite Beatles songs, as a kid I often wondered what the “4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire” may look like – I knew they were rather small, and you could fill the Albert Hall with them, but I always envisaged them as something more spectacular than the potholes I later found out they referred to (a random story about road disrepair, coming from the same newspaper as the “lucky man who made the grade”).
Alas, some 20 years since I first fell in love with the song, the holes of my imagination have become reality. Thank you Frankfurt architects schneider+schumacher, thank you Frankfurt’s Städel Museum. Like a fairytale garden of illuminated molehills, the 195 (not quite 4,000, I know) circular skylights flood the newly designed subterranean gallery with natural light, whilst creating an utterly unique architectural spectacle from above – visitors being able to walk across the field of ethereal potholes.
Breathtakingly contemporary, whilst remaining respectful to Oskar Sommer’s original 1878 building, this is a modern addition that so many others could, and should, learn from. Witty, beautiful and deeply original – just not in Blackburn, Lancashire.