Kunsthaus Bregenz - Peter Zumthor - Essay Example

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1. Introduction Kunsthaus Bregenz is one of the well-known architectural projects by Peter Zumthor, a prominent Swiss architect of our times. This museum represents one of the key tendencies in modern architectural design. Kunsthaus Bregenz performs a function of the ‘museum of daylight’ by its creator…
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Kunsthaus Bregenz - Peter Zumthor
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Download file to see previous pages Kunsthaus sits near the east end of the Lake Constance, after finally being erected in 1991. The construction was in accordance with the order placed by Land Vorarlberg authorities. It was to play a role of major tourist attraction in this well-visited part of northern Austria. Thus the layout and architectural organization in general conform well to the function of a public site that is to play an educational and partly recreational role in the area. The significance of Kunsthaus lies mainly in the superb technical skill with which Zumthor constructed this major oeuvre of today's glassworks architecture. The organizational and designing solutions found in Kunsthaus are therefore of a major interest to those architects that begin their career in this sub-field. Moreover, Kunsthaus may tell us what principles lay in the foundations of the post-modern glassworks architecture as a whole. An emphasis on the construction of the public space and public perception modes make this building an excellent example of the glassworks. The scope of this study will outline the main architectural innovations that the glassworks architecture experienced in the 1980s to 1990s along with the context of a change in public perception of architecture in general. Such issues as the use of proper construction materials, the tuning of a building’s organization strategy to the need of producing specific visual effects, and so forth are thus to be frequently touched upon in the present study. Yet, at the same time, the problem of architecture as a social field, as an expression, and the form of influence upon the public perception of space and time, is the main point of the concept. This focus will not be overlooked in fulfilling the study’s purposes. It is necessary to turn toward an intellectual and social contextual view of Kunsthaus along with Zumthor's other projects. Inevitably, the concept of a minimal architecture would arise here. As Hartmut Obendorf has mentioned in this regard, the rise of a minimalism is inexorably connected with the reaction against the aesthetic banality and “visual excess” that he found typical for the post-modern “supermarket culture”.1 In this way, a minimalist architecture may be contrasted with the lavish architectural styles that reigned supreme as late as the 1970s.2 At the same time, the very concept of ‘minimalism’ may be found questionable, as the works that are usually referred to as ‘minimalist’ generally differ among themselves in some important architectural and conceptual qualities. For instance, Tony Fretton, one of the architects widely associated with the concept of ‘minimal architecture’ finds the very definition ‘not very useful’.3 This aspect should likewise be touched upon in the context of the present study. The minimalist element as related to the Kunsthaus will be fully explained. Finally, the issue of methodology should be addressed. For the purposes of the present study the use of case studies will be used extensively, since the subject of the thesis concerns itself with a specific building situated within specific cultural, geographical, and socio-historical context. The research design of the study in general may be characterized as a qualitative one, as the quantitative elements of analysis (e.g. the exploration of spatial and geometrical organization of a building) are treated for purpose of establishing ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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