The collaboration between artists and architects in “art-in-architecture” projects not only creates considerable added value for the building at hand, but also contributes to an ongoing discourse. At its heart is the question as to what extent both genres may or need to overlap, in order to generate true aesthetic value, while maintaining their necessary autonomy.
Graber Pulver address the encounter between architecture and art in a presentation of two of their projects: the Forsthaus waste-to-energy plant (Bern, 2013) and the Grünmatt FGZ residential development (Zürich, 2014). The artworks that were created for these two projects, “Beautiful Wall #25” by the artist duo Sabina Lang and Daniel Baumann, and “Zeitimporte” by Yves Netzhammer, manifest very different artistic positions, while both interpreting a pre-existing architectural situation. Both works succeed in bringing artistic intervention and architectural attitude into a balance that reinterprets the autonomy of both genres.
To give visitors an in-depth look at the complex dialogue between architecture and visual art, Marco Graber and Thomas Pulver have designed an expansive wall hanging composed of plans, photographs, and artistic artifacts. The installation not only documents the many facets of the projects, but also opens up a space for new associations and approaches. The concept references the salon style display of artwork, also known as the “Petersburg hanging,” named for the densely hung paintings at the St. Petersberg Hermitage. Furthermore, it invokes the flood of images resulting from an imaginary online search through Google Images, which becomes coherent to the viewer only after an in-depth examination.
Marco Graber and Thomas Pulver founded their architecture firm in 1992 in Zürich and Bern. In 1999/2000 they were recognized for their work with a studio grant in New York City. They taught at ETH Zürich from 2006 to 2008, and they both have a guest professorship at ETH Lausanne (EPFL) from 2016 to 2017. Recent projects include the Geneva Ethnography Museum (2014), the Grünmatt FGZ residential development in Zürich (2014), and the Europaallee Baufeld G mixed-use building in Zürich (2015).