Opposite) Entrance and general exterior Hew of Pelchl s ORF Studio lAbovo) Axonometrie drawing

ItiCM) Light «haft at tho building'« centre


(Mönchengladbach. Germany) 1972-82

Throughout a long series of architectural projects. Hollein has declared his conviction that architecture is above all an 'art of space", of relationships between pure solids and voids, as this was defined by 19th-century aesthetics. His investigations, however, in the design of furniture, industrial products, shops and display rooms, which manifest a great agility and knowledge in ordering and manipulating spatial structures, are ultimately dominated by a 'narrative desire'. Almost every shop designed by Hollein tells a different story using iconic architectural means, and the ingredients of each fabula are objects rather than abstract relations of voids (pp. 72-73). In fact, in much of Hollein's work narrative displaces spatial composition.

The Mönchengladbach museum was Hollein's first major constructed work in which "negative space" was the predominant building block of the architecture, an idea he first tried out in his design for Washington University's Experimental Theater (1963-64). The spatial composition of the museum is not a goal in itself, and as with many of his earlier smaller projects, such as galleries and stores, it perspicuously serves to preserve and present to the public a number of works of art.

By contrast to the idea of a museum as a universal, neutral container where objects float in seemingly unlimited space, arrested only temporarily by free panels. Hollein's approach has been to provide a variety of spaces - wide or small, open or closed, circular, square or winding - which serve the specific attributes of the objects displayed in a specific sequence. The feeling of individuality is further enhanced by the dissimilarity of entrances, ramps, stairways, bridges. Spatial contrast is underlined by the contrasting multiple viewpoints and contact with the outside. Natural light comes through skylights and large windows: artificial light, when needed, is neon. The sense of overlapping narratives survives in the routing and the ensuing variety of spatial types.

The commitment to the individuality, discreteness and multiformity of space complements the museum's programme, which demands a variety of settings in order to display a multitude of objects in different lighting and volumes of space and at different distances (not to mention shifting curatorial attitudes). Most museums that provide a universal space normally try to meet these requirements with ad-hoc panels and lighting installations.

Despite the overriding attention to the organization of the interior spaces, the integration of the complex within its urban context has not been overlooked. Rather than developing the external skin of the building as a quas> autonomous system, a variable tissue that responds to the different surrounding con ditions-a path followed to a great extent in the Samsbury Wing of London's National Gallery (pp. 272-75) - Hollein uses here, as in the interior, purely spatial volumetric means, with great success. The spatial components of the

(Opposite) Axonometric projection of the musoum and surrounding site project are "folded' to fit the spaces inbetween and around existing urban constraints. They are attached around a wide, sand-paved platform. which forms the roof of the museum's <Met levels, while on ground level it serves as a plaza which provides access to the side street and gardens. A subdued classicist entrance contrasts with the expanse of the plaza and the soaring volumes of a gothicizing tower.

in Hollein's museum, there is no sense of tortured investigation about time and the Merdependenceof present and past, as in the Merida museum by Moneo (pp. 148-51). Despite the presence of architectural motifs, such as the classical-looking entrance, that toe strong associations with the past, the Städtisches Museum lives in the context of the present, a context of pure spatial events. Equally absent is any conflict between private and civic ways of life. The building is neither hdden behind nor overwhelmed by the surrounding urban fabric. As in the case of Swing's extension to the Staatsgalene in

Stuttgart (pp. 126-31). the fictional and poetic worlds evoked by the contents of the museum, different salient worlds, are implied by the way in which the building itself is an outsider amid its urban surroundings. But in contrast to Stirling's flamboyant civic architecture. which reaches out to invite people in. Hollein's museum is like a visitor from another world, a version of t he end of this century's idea of a temenos. a temple, a world within a world. Its style is neither the idealist, eclectic histori-cism of the 19th-century museum, nor is it the Miesian. transcendental and neo-idealist temple. What it aims to convey is a belief in the idea of art as coherence and purity. Placed solemnly between hill and city centre, its sand-finished walls, its glass, steel, chrome and aluminium are like a mantle emphasizing its silky, silvery strangeness.

(Opposite) Axonometric projection of the musoum and surrounding site

(Top) Looking towards tho entrance

(Above) Ground floor plan

Antonio Barrionuevo Ferrer HOUSING BLOCK IN PINO MONTANO

(Seville. Spain) 1981-83

This housing project for eighty agranan fam lies is situated in Pino Montano. where the periphery of Seville gives way to the vast I expanses of the huertas, or fields of the i agricultural heartland, an area left outside tne general planning policies of 1960s and 70s ] Antonio Barrionuevo saw in this project the j chance to attempt a new type of commons i dwelling for its humble proprietors that contribute, as a new alternative, to givingane* form to the working class housing other than j that which characterized the metropolitan condition inside Seville.'

Antonio Barrionuevo. like Giancarto De Carlo j (pp. 198-201) and Alvaro Siza (pp. 90-91 placed major emphasis on collective space, its hierarchical structure and its collect« I memory. He tried to recapture 'the way inwfucfl I the population of Seville occupies the street. I the square or the internal courts (the renowned corral) of traditional neighbourhoods, as wefl as the different degrees of privacy that free space possesses, from the street to the privaie patio.' To do this, he has opted for a perimettr I block, a spatial schema which provides venwa I Hon and orientation but also offers the possrtx lity of creating a communal, open space wtwfc I is even more public than the traditional pat» J but which still preserves the patio's relative privacy and collective intimacy.

' I ' M r* I (M <VM» iiinnt-iivrr :> * t'l VI < il Vt « t V| i'i

Beyond iconographie considerations, in this »orving class, low-budget housing, through its colouis. materials and scale, Barrionuevo has •.red to instil a sense of joyfutness. Without succumbing to imitation and nostalgia, other regional devices have been applied, such as a temple-monument to mark the centre of the pat«. Above the entrances, the structures are covered m the same traditional ceramic tiles »fKh were used on the mudejar minarets that »ere transformed into church towers. These are intended, according to the architect, as signs of identity of the collectivity'. Pergolas for shade, benches for meetings, kiosks, vange and palm trees, running water, all suggest not only the local gardens and patios, but also the 19th-century squares in the instortc centre of Seville.

The design of this housing block bears all the features typical of the regionalist trend, so dominant in Spain. Barrionuevo has remarked tftat m this work he was trying to bring back all those native elements which were lacking in the panorama of social housing of our country for so long". If critical regionalism succeeds only in this, in bringing back this sense of iiegfia (traditional joyfulness). its task in preserving the sense of local community has been accomplished.

(Opposite, left) General plan and sections (Opposite, right) Conceptual drawing (Above) The intorior court (Right) Typical unit plan

Fostor Associates Ltd

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