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Kunsthaus Graz

Fournier, C.; Cook, P.; (2003) Kunsthaus Graz. [Design]. Green open access

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Abstract

Kunsthaus Graz (1999–2003), a project for the new museum of modern art in the Austrian city of Graz, designed by Colin Fournier (Partner in Charge) and Peter Cook. Kunsthaus Graz aimed to innovate three areas of architectural design: (1) Creative/provocative engagement with cultural/urban context. (2) Museum design, display techniques and operation: research into the operational philosophy of contemporary museums led to a radical proposal, using new media, flexibility, ephemerality and a less 'institutional' approach to the organization of museum space. (3) New materials, design and manufacturing techniques: the use of a translucent double-curved acrylic surface as the overall envelope required extensive research/experimentation in the use of alternative computer design methods, structural solutions, materials and CAD-CAM manufacturing techniques. Contexts: Kunsthaus Graz moves beyond other contemporary examples of 'biomorphic' architecture, such as Future Systems, Sainsbury Store, Manchester, by exploring the organic surface not only as iconic form but as a new type of 'intelligent' skin capable of displaying information and relating interactively with users. Methods: Kunsthaus Graz develops its research propositions through specifically architectural practice-led processes, namely: (1) A contextual urban approach to ensure the design is perceived as an integral part of the urban fabric, although its form/materiality are in sharp contrast with the surroundings. (2) The search for an innovative, 'organic' form, involving sophisticated geometric analyses in close coordination with structural engineers, evolving towards a 'paperless' design office where the project's concept was manifested via digital 3D data sets, materialized via computer-driven manufacturing processes. (3) A process of continuous testing of new design solutions with respect to the client's programmatic requirements, fire/safety and other regulations, to ensure minimum compromise of the original design concept.

Type:Design
Title:Kunsthaus Graz
Open access status:An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language:English
Additional information:Exhibitions: Kunsthaus Graz has been widely exhibited internationally through a touring exhibition, Curves and Spikes, which contextualizes the Kunsthaus in relation to the Stadthalle as part of the 2003 'Cultural Capital of the Year' programme at two venues in Germany (2003), group shows in Graz (2003), Paris (2003) and Zagreb (2005), and as part of the 8th Venice Biennale (2002). Collections: The original competition model, plans and a 1:50 sectional model are in the permanent collection at Centre Pompidou, Paris (2003-). Prizes: (1) First prize in a major international architectural competition against competitors including Zaha Hadid, Thom Mayne, Hans Hollein and Coop Himmelblau. (2) An RIBA Year Award, UK (2004). (3) Nominated and shortlisted as one of six for the Stirling Prize, UK (2004). (4) The Technical Prize, Frankfurt, Germany (2005). (5) The Architekturpreis des Landes Steiermark Year Prize (2005). (6) The Goldener Ehrenzeichen (Golden Order of Merit) (2005) awarded by the Governor of the province of Styria (Landeshauptmann Frau Waltraud Klasnic) personally to Professor Colin Fournier for his role as Partner in Charge of the Kunsthaus Graz project. Talks/Conferences/Media Presentations: 'Kunsthaus, Graz' has been the subject of twelve invited talks, ten international, and more than five international conference contributions, as well as contributions to various radio broadcasts and TV programmes. Reviews: 'Kunsthaus, Graz' has been the subject of reviews by respected critics, such as Jeremy Melvin, John Lyall and Liane Lefaivre, in more than 60 architecture, design and art magazines, such as A+U Architecture and Urbanism, ARCHIS, The Architects' Journal, Architectural Design, Architectural Record, Architectural Review, Architecture and Design, Architecture d'Aujourd'hui, Architecture Today, Art in America, Blueprint, Building Design, Detail, Domus. Authorship: A collaboration between Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, Fournier has been recognized through the Goldener Ehrenzeichen award as Partner in Charge of the project.
UCL classification:UCL > School of BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School > Bartlett School of Architecture

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