The Kunsthaus Graz Museum of Modern Art in Austria was designed by Peter Cook & Colin Fournier through CRAB Studio Projects. This biomorphic building located in the heart of the old town of Graz is seemingly foreign to its inhabitants and surroundings–in-fact, it has been nick-named the Friendly Alien.
While the building form is unlike any other, its form is meant to takes shape from the environment that surrounds it. There are areas that reach out over the street-scape, engaging the passerby’s while the scale and adjacencies mesh and align with the surrounding buildings and land formations. The river helped to inform the undulating shape while the overall form is fluid, open and appropriately malleable through open internal organization and materiality.
This project exhibits an intense electronically morphic media facade. The entire Eastern facade is made up of a BIX matrix. This BIX specific matrix is composed of a plexi-glass surface that protects several fluorescent lamps that have the ability to be individually adjusted–being able to express infinite variabilities through which animation and film can be played and displayed. The biomorphic form seen initially as alien is seemingly moreso integrated into its landscape than what meets the eye and can be incredibly transformative through color, light and communication.
The display properties of the skin allow the fascade to be a form of expression. Whether it be art, or simply fancy technology, the facade of this building helps to start a conversation about what a facade is, what a building is capable of and what the future has in store. Architecture has always been a presence through which we are better able to understand our culture, history and objectives. In the case of the BIX matrix skin, we are able to be wooed by it’s colorful and evolving visual multi-media displays but also its communicative social and cultural implicative expressions.