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Work of Art?

Eleanor Young

Farshid Moussavi has completed her first building in the US, in Ohio. The dramatic $18.7m (£11.6m) ‘gem’ of the Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland opened in mid October.

The faceted mirror-finish black stainless steel makes it a sculptural object in the new plaza which it can literally open out onto with entrances on each side. It rises from hexagonal base to a square top on its triangular site. Inside a tumble of staircases links the four storeys. At the top a 6,000 square foot gallery allows for various configurations for work of different media and genres while visitors can also peak out from behind the raking steel facade across uptown Cleveland.

Firmly in the heart of Cleveland’s University Circle along with other galleries, cultural institutions and universities, Moussavi’s MOCA is one of a collection of architectural pieces that include Frank Gehry’s  Weatherhead School of Management, the can’t-miss -it cancer centre designed by US practice Cannon Design and Rafael Vinoly’s east wing addition to the Museum of Art.

As part of Foreign Office Architects Moussavi first came to prominence for the sloping planes of the Yokahama International Port Terminal. But news of a Foreign Office Architects split came in 2009. She is now operating as Farshid Moussavi Architects all over the world including projects in La Defense, Paris and in London and others that are still under wraps.