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Kunsthaus Graz
Peter Cook & Colin Fournier, UK (2003)

The Kunsthaus, locally known as the Friendly Alien, opened its doors in 2003. It was a gift from Graz, to Graz as a celebration of the European Cultural Capital 2003. Ever since it has been a new landmark for the city. The 11.100 m² of usable space of the buildings interior are used as an exhibition centre for contemporary art. its outer skin is a media façade which can be changed electronically. With a surface of 900m² and 930 lamps (each lamp serves as a pixel) the light and media BIX façade is a large, urban screen in the middle of the city and it serves as large instrument of art communication.

Picture: Homepage Area V Info Graz-Gries V.;
Text: Homepage Museum Joanneum / bix-media facade



Günther Domenig, Hermann Eisenköck, AUT (1992)

Although the architects Domenig and Eisenköck are known for more imposing projects, the small pedestrian and bicycle bridge across the Mur gave the city a special momentum. The new connection between the historical city and the in the west situated suburban parts of the city is located at one of the most sensible places in Graz – right at the foot of the Schlossberg.The look of the bridge, with its unique construction, could be thought of as some kind of provocation, if there wasn’t the goal, the challenge to NOT build something impenetrable, something monumental in a location like this. The bridge is like an arch that stretches between the two riverbanks – sharp, vibrating, airy.

Picture: Homepage Wikimedia; Text: ARCHITEKTUR_GRAZ



Vito Acconci, USA (2003)

In 2003 it was installed as a temporary "eye-catcher" but has now been given unlimited permission to stay. An artificial, shell-shaped island attached to the banks by means of two bridges. Its complex structure of steel tubes serves as both a vaulted roof for the café and a concave receptacle for an open-air stage. The island can deal with high water as the two bridges are attached to moveable joints and the floats are located on poles.

Island or ship, that is the question.

Picture: Copyright Graz Tourismus, Salzburger Nachrichten;
Text: Homepage Graz Tourismus



Kastner & Öhler
Helmer & Fellner, AUT (1914)
Szyszkowitz & Kowalski, AUT (1991-2003)
Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano, ESP (2010)

A skilfully executed policy of expansion allowed this traditional department store to grow into a commercial empire. The purchase of properties all around the original premises by Helmer&Fellner (1914) required structural renovation and a mastery of the task of joining them. Here Szyszkowitz + Kowalski applied a skilful touch. Light glass roofs blend in confidently, bridges of fine glass-and-steel construction and glass roofs over courtyards constitute delicate connecting elements within the heterogeneous arrangement. The sports department by the river expresses the typical vocabulary of this architect couple: strong sculpting, playful features and pastel colouration. The latest modification and extension is a quantum leap of further expansion: adding a third to sales floor area with trendy design, reconstruction of the multi-storey main hall with galleries, a café on a terrace and a bar beneath the spectacular roofscape by Spanish architects Nieto Sobejano; all will make shopping here a special experience.

Picture: Kleine Zeitung, Paul Ott; Text: Homepage Graz Tourismus