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The "friendly alien"

Kunsthaus GrazThe Kunsthaus Graz, Grazer Kunsthaus, or Graz Art Museum was built as part of the European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2003 and has since become an architectural landmark in Graz, Austria. Its exhibition program specializes in contemporary art of the last four decades.

"While the building's interior is meant to inspire its curators as a "black box of hidden tricks", its outer skin is a media facade which can be changed electronically."

Located on the banks of the Mur, between the red brick roofs of neighboring historic buildings, the new architectural symbol is locally referred to as the "friendly alien".

Like a bubble of air, the bluish, shimmering skin of the Kunsthaus floats above its glass-walled ground floor. Spanning up to 60 metres in width, the biomorphic construction envelops two large exhibition rooms without additional supports.

From the surface of the acrylic glass outer "skin", strikingly shaped "nozzles" project outwards to admit daylight: they are inclined to the north and thus provide optimum natural lighting.


The main eastern facade of the Kunsthaus is augmented with an additional architectural concept called BIX which was initiated and developed by the Berlin based architects realities:united.

BIX is a matrix of 930 fluorescent lamps integrated into the eastern Plexiglas facade of the Kunsthaus. Through the possibility to individually adjust the lampĀ¹s brightness at an infinite variability with 20 frames/second images, films and animations can be displayed.

Thus the original architectural concept of the skin was radically redefined transforming the facade into a low resolution computer display, a "communicative display skin", fusing architecture, technology and information.

More pictures after the jump.

Kunsthaus Graz
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Kunsthaus Graz
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Kunsthaus Graz
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Kunsthaus Graz
Video: YouTube
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