the kunsthaus bregenz museum’s architect peter zumthor has curated an exhibition within the venue that seeks to create spaces of artistic reflection, mediation and contemplation. centering around the cultural themes he himself cherishes, zumthor’s ‘dear to me’ turns the austrian museum into a place of architectural discussion and educational discourse, with works by some of his most-appreciated artists, including hélène binet, gerda steiner and jörg lenzlinger.

peter zumthor kunsthaus bregenz
exhibition view of ‘dear to me’ at kunsthaus bregenz
all images by markus tretter / courtesy of atelier peter zumthor & partner © peter zumthor, kunsthaus bregenz

 

 

descending from the kunsthaus bregenz’s uppermost levels, visitors find a fantastical garden on the top floor. artist couple gerda steiner and jörg lenzlinger have infilled the space with an arrangement of delicate plants, each suspended like a mobile from the museum’s light-filled ceiling. made from a mix of materials, the botanical compositions engage with the architecture of the site, growing upwards, extending horizontally, and delicately overlapping interior walls.

peter zumthor kunsthaus bregenz
visitors encounter a fantastical garden on the top floor

 

 

on the floor below, visitors encounter a dense configuration of shelved walls that form a book-lined labyrinth within the space. the spiral-shaped unit holds about 40,000 publications brought from the city of chur to bregenz especially for the exhibition. serving as a sort of literary atrium, the area offers a space for both public reading and private study, with chairs by horgenglarus — switzerland’s oldest furniture manufacturer — situated throughout the installation.

peter zumthor kunsthaus bregenz
artist couple gerda steiner and jörg lenzlinger have infilled the space with an arrangement of delicate plants

 

 

the first floor highlights zumthor’s real work — the building — centering around the museum’s daylight ceiling, reflective terrazzo, and stone shell of the walls. walls display a series of works by photographer hélène binet that records subjects from athens’ acropolis. one of zumthor’s favorite architects is dimitris pikionis — the greek landscape architect who designed the paving on the ancient temple mount, which binet photographically captured.

 

also on the first level, austrian composer olga neuwirth was asked by zumthor’s son, musician peter conradin zumthor, to create a composition for a music box, whose punch card tape is fed through a system that winds up to the ceiling.

peter zumthor kunsthaus bregenz
each arrangement is suspended like a mobile from the museum’s light-filled ceiling

 

 

a bösendorfer grand piano is installed on ground level with a black canopy suspended above the platform of the stage. geometric paneling on the walls acts as abstract color field paintings, and a space and sound divider. zumthor-designed chairs and stools allow space for visitors to watch a film directed by swiss filmmaker christoph schaub, which shows interviews and archival material relating to zumthor’s architectural projects. reflecting on the theme of ‘dear to me’, each sunday morning, zumthor interviews people whose work has inspired him.

peter zumthor kunsthaus bregenz
a dense configuration of shelved walls form a book-lined labyrinth

peter zumthor kunsthaus bregenz
the spiral-shaped unit holds about 40,000 publications

peter zumthor kunsthaus bregenz
walls display a series of works by photographer hélène binet that records subjects from athens’ acropolis

peter zumthor kunsthaus bregenz
a music box’s punch card tape is fed through a system that winds up to the ceiling

peter zumthor kunsthaus bregenz
a bösendorfer grand piano is installed on ground level with a black canopy suspended above the stage

peter zumthor kunsthaus bregenz
geometric paneling on the walls acts as abstract color field paintings

peter zumthor kunsthaus bregenz
the kunsthaus bregenz was completed by peter zumthor in 1997

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