October 31, 2016 by Liat
Architect: Peter Zumthor
Year of Construction: 1997
Location: Bregenz, Austria (on the shore of Lake Constance)
Only a year after the completion of therme Vals (Peter Zumthors most well-known project), he put forth the plans for the Kunsthaus Bregenz, an art gallery located on the shore of lake constance. At the heart of the concept stands, of course, Zumthors preferred style of minimalism, using industrial materials such as glass, steel and concrete both for the interior and exterior.T he exterior is less relevant for this case study, but should still be mentioned. e KUB stands in the center of Bregenz like a spaceship that landed in a historical context. Its glass facade absorbs the surrounding light, creating the illusion of an internal glow.
At any time of the day, depending on the weather, it reflects the mood of the lake shore, which, more o en than not is rainy and cold during most times of the year.
The interior is kept in the same style as the exterior, using the same materials. Because the glass facade is double-layered (there is an additional exoskeleton of glass around the structural part of the building) the light filters through in a very even and indirect manner. e translucent glass gives one the feeling of being removed from the real world because of the strangely cold quality of light on the interior. e interior design of this space manages to fuse the art with its surroundings in a very sophisticated manner, where neither art nor architecture dominate one another.
The minimalist style of the gallery allows the art to define the space, and rather than taking away from the emotional impact of the art it enhances it.
Even tough the reference might not seem apparent, I think this case is a very relevant one for our exhibition. When I entered the KUB for the first time, I was overwhelmed with the experience in a way that I had seldom experienced when entering an art exhibition. The feeling could be compared to that of entering into a church, one of the few other types of buildings that has this effect. There were two dominant sensations upon entering, one of feeling like i was removed from my normal life or even the reality outside, and the other one of being able to appreciate the art so clearly and sharply with the lack of distraction.
Now the reason we should look to professionals who have envisioned the surrounding spaces for exhibitions is because we will be doing exactly that: designing a way of exhibiting Fabrizio’s photographs in the most efficient and emotionally impacting way possible. Peter Zumthor’s method of enhancing the emotional impact of the displayed art was to create a minimalist space, that is both lacking distraction and at the same time is so unusually cold and industrial that we feel out of this world.
Even tough we want to design an interactive exhibition, we will have to be careful as not to distract from the photographs because we are so busy trying to create an experience while viewing them. Especially when exhibiting photography, a clean and clear context can enhance the impact of the photographs.
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