“Mixing Memory and Desire”

Kunstmuseum Luzern

The more virtuality encroaches on daily life, the more art seems to want to reassure itself of its real space by way of exhibition architecture. The new Kunstmuseum Luzern, housed within Jean Nouvel’s Kultur- und Kongresszentrum (Culture and convention center), answers this trend by refraining it: In the middle of the city, between the train station and lakeshore. under a gigantic flat roof, Nouvel has built a fascinating sequence of volumes and cuts that look as though simulated on a computer screen. The lake is reflected in the prominent floating plane of the roof, while the cut to the sky frames the postcard landscape like a proscenium. Every view from the building tends to be a tableau. It is all the more surprising that this spectacular exterior holds inside it a clearly delimited museum cube of Lutheran sobriety, its 20,000 square feet divided in turn into a relentlessly cool series

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