Graz Art Museum
Graz Art Museum, step into Blobitecture
Peter Cook, Colin Fournier
Located in Graz, Austria, the Graz Art Museum was built as one of the projects that took place in the city when the latter served as “European Capital of Culture” in 2003. Designed by London based architects Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, it is both an important art foundation and a prominent local landmark. Due to its extraterrestrial appearance it is often referred to by local as the “Friendly alien”. Its exhibition premises house a permanent collection of modern art exhibits, and from time to time various “guest exhibitions” of artistic interest.
BIX is the 900 m2 light and media installation in the façade of the Kunsthaus in Graz. It makes it possible to program the façade like a computer monitor and to broadcast projections, animations, or messages into the urban space. The conceptual highlights are the individual lighting elements that constitute the screen: not filigree, high-tech LEDs, but conventional, circular fluorescent lamps, arranged on a vast scale.
The installation, which has won several prizes, fulfills the Kunsthaus’ communicative ambition and has become one of its special aesthetic identifying features. Upon its completion in 2003, the installation set a new standard for the fusion of architecture, media, and art. Since then it has been considered one of the most important reference projects in the discourse on media architecture concepts.
The aesthetics of the building follow the peculiar architectural school known as “blob architecture” or “blobitecture”, based on organic shapes, blobitecture is expressed through unique buildings that resemble the shape of protozoa organisms such as the amoeba.
The Museum is considered one of the most important landmarks in Austria and even though it is not among the most advertised museums of modern art in the world, it certainly is one of those with the greatest architectural interest.
Among the small and traditional houses of Graz with the classic Austrian aesthetics, the enormous organic building looks as if it landed there from space and the eerie image is reinforced even further by the surroundings.
Reference: designisthis.com, archdaily.com, Graz Art Museum