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Mumuth, house for music and music theatre

UNStudio

Mumuth, house for music and music theatre
By Yehuda Safran -

Architecture encompasses an appreciation of the most ordinary items of daily life. It lays down a “moral geometry” that keeps us mindful of our place in the greater scheme of the universe. Now more than ever, such an understanding is needed. Austria in particular has always sustained a profound belief in the analogy between the inner lives and outer manifestation of nature in the mineral world. It is a prominent theme in Adalbert Stifter’s works like Bergkristall, Kalkstein and Bunte Stein (Rock Crystal, Limestone and Colourful Stones, respectively). Goethe too believed in the ultimate Polarität of nature and existence. Appropriately, only a few steps away from the new Music Theatre on a small street named after Hugo Wolf, there is a sculpture by Fritz Hartlauer: Kristall. Made of curving sandstone and extending wider than a pair of outstretched arms, it is an endless proliferation of the cubic geometry of the crystal. Fritz Hartlauer committed suicide in 1983 just opposite where the new building is sited today. Perhaps the super ego of Ben van Berkel is embodied in this sculpture! As in science, it is the force behind the phenomena that concerns us here, a sign of nature’s inherent and monistic lawfulness. Although an invisible force, just like electricity and magnetism, science tells us that the whole earth and heavens comprise nothing but the same self-lawfulness of material existence. The desire to draw from the difficult geometry of the Moebius strip and Klein bottle is the desire to glean the elements of a language that would allow us to perceive the limits of the world as we know it, and glimpse a world never experienced before. This has been the main drive of UNStudio ever since its very early projects. It is a strategy followed in both the series of small-scale private houses and the Mercedes Benz Museum in Stuttgart, where the inner core provides an endless spiral strip of ramps to accommodate exhibits and public in an interior promenade. Here in Graz,...

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