Last edited 12 Nov 2020

Kunsthaus Graz

Kunsthaus graz.jpg

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 Fa├žade' 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.

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