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TECHNOLOGY

Renzo Piano’s Pontus Hultén Study Gallery

THE MACHINERY IS QUITE LOUD, and that is something that the architect Renzo Piano, its designer, likes. In fact, as he explained to me this past summer, standing in a gallery of Moderna Museet in Stockholm—where his contraption was making walls of artworks descend from the ceiling along metal tracks—he would not have minded it being even noisier. However cool his architecture, Piano has a taste for extravagant machines, something he shared with his longtime friend Pontus Hultén (1924–2006), at whose behest and in whose spirit this unique apparatus was created. In 2005, Hultén, head of the Moderna from 1960 to 1973, donated his roughly seven-hundred-piece art collection to the museum, but only on the condition that any work the institution could not display would still be available to the public in an open-storage warehouse designed by Piano (who had, of course, already been Hultén’s partner

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