The Salzburg Guggenheim Museum

(Salzburg, Austria) 1989-

Guggenheim Museum Salzburg

Salzburg. one of the cultural capitals of Europe, will be celebrating the millennium of its foundation in 1995. For this occasion, its mayor, Joseph Reschen, has planned an annex to the Guggenheim Museum which will house a part of its immense collection, 90 per cent of which is not at present on view to the public. The greatest problem Salzburg faces today is its dense urban mass and a mountainous belt girding the city that impedes new construction.

The new museum will be sited in the Monchs-berg mountain dominating the city walls.

Hans Hollein was selected as the architect of the project after an international competition which also included Jean Nouvel. Turning the geological odds to his advantage, Hollein opted to convert the caverns concealed in the mountain into exhibition areas. The visitor climbs laterally up thecliff to an excavation 20 metres wide and 40 metres high, illuminated

(Opposite) Model of interior, with main staircase

(Right) Conceptual drawings


from above. Stairs lead first to halls inside the caverns, then to the large exhibition spaces, inundated by light, on the upper side. The interplay of contrasting dark and light areas thus becomes the predominant theme of the museum's architecture, reflecting perhaps the same contrasts and sublime effects as in Mozart's The Magic Flute.

In attempting to define spatial configurations, Hollein's writings, exhibitions, actual and Utopian designs throughout his career, have always been in search of an architecture of 'pure space', emancipated from the constraints imposed by physical necessities. In the Guggenheim Museum, given the happy coincidence of the programme, site, technology. as well as the brief of his clients, Hollein seems closer than ever before to realizing this ambition.

Guggenheim Museum Salzburg

(Left) Model of interior (Below left) Section

(Opposite) Bird's-eye view - section of the mountain-top museum complex with surroundings

(Left) Model of interior (Below left) Section

(Opposite) Bird's-eye view - section of the mountain-top museum complex with surroundings

Guggenheim Museum SalzburgAncient Greek Theatre Dionysus

Tadao Ando Architect & Associates JAPAN PAVILION EXPO '92

(Seville, Spain) 1989-91

Japanese Pavilion For ExpoGuggenheim Museum Salzburg

The Japanese Pavilion at the Seville Expo '92 is one of the largest wooden constructions in the world. 25 metres high and with four levels, each with a surface 60 metres by 40 metres. The upper part is covered by a roof of translucent film made of teflon. The exterior is finished in warped lap siding wood.

Technologically, the project therefore combines a most traditional material with the most advanced construction techniques that stretch the potential of wood to its limit. Functionally, the organization is clear. Visitors are brought to the heart of the building, to a high point from where they descend through the various display areas. But, more than the displays, what is presented throughout their journey is the building itself and the way it is constructed.

The material used is different from most of the previous works of Ando, which are based on exposed reinforced concrete. In addition, while in most of his previous projects the solids of the building, despite their massiveriess. are dematerialized by downplaying their structural identity through what Ando has called abstraction, and by foregrounding their pure geometri cal configuration, in the Seville Pavilion the technology of the structure and details - an up-to-date technology drawn from all over the world - is exhibited explicitly.

This collection of technologies in one struc ture, traditional and modern, Japanese and international, was a conscious choice following the directives of the programme of the building: to present the idea of 'the past, present and future of Japan' participating simulta neously in a world of local traditions and one of modern globalism. At the same time, the building is meant as a celebration of the idea of discovery; the Expo's theme is The Age of

Pabellon Sevilla Tadao Ando
(Opposite) Views of the model of the pavilion (Above) Plan

Discovery. Discovery refers, more concretely, to that of America by Columbus 500 years before in 1492; the discovery by Europe of its unity in 1992: and, in the specific case of this pavilion, the discovery of Japan by the world.

There is, however, more to the pavilion than its pragmatic display of its programmatic message, in fulfilment of the requirements of being part of an international exposition; more, too, than its unique size, operational clarity and technological intricacy. The building is also an intricate poetic object.

In his poetics, here as in his previous work, Ando relies on minimal geometric elements in his spatial compositions. The Seville Pavilion, however, overcomes his previous Euclidean elementarism of straight lines, circles, orthogonal prisms and simple intersections between them. Instead, the spatial elements have a freer configuration. Still, self-con tained, their shape suggests what in Japanese painting is called fude no chikara, the strength of the hand at the moment the brush applies a stroke to a two-dimensional surface, here translated into built form. The pavilion is in fact an enormous ideogram, created fundamentally from two kanji, or written characters; a single curved stroke forming a pathway, and a number of straight strokes enclosing a space. The two elements are opposed to each other, convex bridge to concave facade. Yet, in their opposition, the two characters interpenetrate and become enmeshed as an inseparable whole. The curved stroke of the arched bridge, 11 metres in height, is one of the most striking features of the project. By climbing up through it, the visitor enters the pavilion. An archaic Japanese symbol, this traditional arched bridge, or taikobashi, originally represented the passage from this world to the other. In the


Guggenheim Museum Salzburg

pavilion, the taikobashi is used as a double metaphor to symbolize the crossing from the realities of life into the world of imagination, as well as the bridging of knowledge between East and West.

Representational and poetic functions are not confined to the visual structure of the building. Ando conceives spatial organization and use to be interwoven with meaning: as in all traditional Japanese ritual, so in this pavilion ceremonial architecture, formal structure and process are one. 'I pursue precisely that vital union of abstract geometrical form and daily human activity'; 'abstract existence [is] meeting with concreteness', Ando remarks in his statement for the catalogue of his major exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, in Autumn 1991.

In this space-event complex, visitors, after their ascent through the bridge, enter a gallery, a huge open space. From here, they proceed downwards, passing through each of the exhibition rooms. And as they descend inside the great open space of the gallery, with its 17-metre-high ceiling, they turn to the plain wooden columns and beams, which together form a configuration washed by the light they sense streaming through the transparent teflon film above. As the visitors actively experience this visual-kinetic process, navigating through the architecture and being guided by it, they will 'be able to feel the historical movement of Japan'; the whole building will become for them a bridge of international exchange and understanding, just as the programme required. But even more than this.

the pavilion is born as an architectural spaceof ideogram-ritual which incorporates the con cepts of evolution and encounter merged into one, and offers a cognitive synthesis through an experience of space in which the whole body participates.

(Above) Axonometrie drawing and section (Opposite) Conceptual drawing

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