We want Spam, not meatballs: Museum's 'Ikea-like' design stirs debate

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What's blue and yellow, and famous for its meat products? No, it's not Ikea. It's the design for a new Spam Museum in Austin, Minnesota.

But the first look at plans for the new museum has prompted a spirited debate on the Austin Daily Herald website, with some commenters criticizing conceptual drawings from RSP Architects for looking too much like an Ikea store.

"It is wretched!" one commenter said. "Only the Main Street side has any brick to connect to it's neighbor [sic]. The rest of it looks like IKEA and Crate & Barrel had an illegitimate child."

But what else could the designers do? Some commenters responded. After all, the famous Spam cans are also blue and yellow, and shades not far removed from the furniture giant.

A more common criticism among commenters was that the building does not fit in well with surrounding downtown Austin.

One said: "How much money has the downtown spent trying to get rid of this style architecture? Now we are reintroducing it with no regard to the surrounding buildings?"

The 14,000-square-foot building design was voted through by the city's Port Authority last week, the Business Journal reports, as parent company Hormel Food Corp. moves the museum into downtown from its current site at Hormel's headquarters.

Hormel sent a copy of the designs to BringMeTheNews, but said it is still subject to change.

"The important thing to note is that this is not the final design and is still in concept form," a spokesman said. "There will likely be some modifications to it."

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