Art Museum Bregenz | Peter Zumthor, 1990-1997
West façade with works by James Turrell on exhibit
Gallery space and staircase on south side
Downward view of the staircase
Gallery on upper floor
To me, there is something revealing about the work of Joseph Beuys and some of the artists of the Arte Povera group. What impresses me is the precise and sensuous ways they use materials. It seems anchored in an ancient, elemental knowledge about man’s use of materials, and at the same time to expose the very essence of these materials which is beyond all culturally conveyed meaning.
I try to use materials like this in my work. I believe that they can assume a poetic quality in the context of an architectural object, although only if the architect is able to generate a meaningful situation for them, since materials in themselves are not poetic. The sense that I try to instill into materials is beyond all rules of composition, and their tangibility, smell and acoustic qualities are merely elements of the language that we are obliged to use. Sense emerges when I succeed in bringing out the specific meanings of certain materials in my buildings, meanings which can only be perceived in just this way in just this building.
If we work towards this goal, we must constantly ask ourselves what the use of a particular material could mean in a specific architectural context. Good answers to these questions can throw new light onto both the way in which the material is generally used and its own inherent sensuous qualties.
If we succeed in this, materials in architecture can be made to shine and vibrate.
a+u Extra Edition| Peter Zumthor
Nobuyuki Yoshida : Peter Zumthor
a+u Publishing co.