- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 25 Oct 2016
Kunsthaus Graz is a modern art museum located on the west bank of the River Mur in the historic centre of Graz, Austria. It was designed and built as part of the 2003 European Capital of Culture celebrations and has since become a city landmark, popularly known as the 'Friendly Alien'.
Its design was a collaboration between two professors from the Bartlett School of Architecture, Colin Fournier and Peter Cook, formerly the leader of the Archigram group that acquired a reputation for unusual urban design concepts in the 1960s.
The designers adopted an innovative style known as blobitecture or 'blob architecture' to create the building's organic, amoeba-shaped form with 'spouts' projecting from the roof, that stands out in stark contrast to its more traditional surroundings. The glazed outer skin is constructed from 1,288 iridescent blue acrylic panels.
The skin generates energy through the use of integrated photovoltaic panels as a result of which, its environmental impact is very low. The skin also forms a 'BIX Façade' screen, capable of displaying interactive media using the 900 computer-controlled fluorescent lamps fitted beneath the surface.
See more from the Unusual Building Design of the Week series.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Architectural styles.
- Building of the week series.
- Centro Eventi Multifunzionale, Italy.
- Dali Theatre and Museum.
- Dancing House, Prague.
- Gentle Genius.
- Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao.
- Habitat 67.
- Lotus Temple.
- Luxor Las Vegas.
- Rose Museum.
- St. Basil's Cathedral.
- Sage Gateshead.
- Switch House, Tate Modern.
- Tallest buildings in the world.
- The Gherkin.
- The Mile.
- The Oculus.
- Titanic Belfast.
- Unusual building design of the week.
- Zenith de Strasbourg.
 External references
- Museum Joanneum - Official site
Featured articles and news
Starting a new built environment degree? We have a wide range of resources aimed at students.
Former railway chief James Blake says trust and control are key to successful infrastructure projects.
Do you know your Rococo from your De Stijl, your Gothic from your Post-modernist?
May outlines a new funding strategy for housing associations and says the 'stigma' of social housing needs to end.
RIBA launches a consultation on a new Plan of Work for Fire Safety.
This article offers some basic rules to follow when writing your next specification.
The iconic Mackintosh Building will definitely be rebuilt, board chairwoman confirms.
The machinery used to fashion stone has changed dramatically - and so have the products.
This type of pile provides support to the building, as well as acting as a heat source and a heat sink.
Why investors are adopting the SDGs and why civil engineering could be crucial for delivering them.
Read about all the winners from the London ceremony of CIAT's 2018 Architectural Technology Awards.