Facts reveal the uniqueness of the Salvador Dali Museum

• The new Dalí Museum is eight blocks north of its old site (1000 Third St. S) and is on the downtown waterfront, with a new address: 1 Dalí Blvd., at the southern end of Bayshore Drive SE.

• Its cost is about $36 million.

• It has 66,450 square feet, more than twice that of the old building.

• Gallery space totals about 15,000 square feet, a 50 percent increase.

• For the first time in its history, the museum will have room to continuously exhibit all 96 paintings in its permanent collection.

• The exterior walls are 18 inches thick and have miles of reinforcing steel to withstand a Category 5 hurricane.

• The architectural element known as the Glass Enigma is composed of 1,062 glass triangles, the most-complex structure of its kind and size in the United States. The panes are cleaned by climbers who can bolt into anchors built into the metal grid holding the glass, then ascend with buckets of soap and water.

• An estimated 1,200 to 1,600 tons of Florida limestone dot the site. Most was excavated from the Homestead area, where the densest stones are found.

• The freestanding spiral staircase was created on-site by pouring concrete into molds attached to scaffolding rising 60 feet.

• The grounds, called the Avant Garden, include examples of the golden rectangle and golden spiral, based on the Fibonacci sequence. When applied to spatial ratios, it forms what many consider to be the most aesthetically beautiful proportions in art and architecture. Dalí used both principles in his paintings (see Nature Morte Vivante, for example).

• Another landscape feature is a labyrinth modeled on one at Chartres Cathedral in France. Unlike a maze, there are no wrong turns and there is only one way in and out so you can't get lost.

• The northwest corner of the building appears to be supported by a large boulder. The "rock" is concrete that surrounds the real support and has been finished to resemble the limestone used in the landscaping. It's fitted with misters and planters.

• The only non-Florida rock is one given to the Dalí Museum by Cadaqués, the village in northeastern Spain where Dalí grew up. The area is famous for its stone outcroppings, and Dalí used them frequently in his landscapes. Most of the area is considered a protected preserve; special government permission was need to remove this 4,500-pound rock.

• The Center for the Arts Plaza connects the Dalí Museum to the Mahaffey Theater. It is planted with a grove (called a bosk, which implies a symmetrical design) of crepe myrtle trees strung with LED lights called Tivolis, a broad expanse of lawn and wide grass steps.

Facts reveal the uniqueness of the Salvador Dali Museum 01/07/11 [Last modified: Saturday, January 8, 2011 9:56am]

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