“The greatest products of architecture are less the works of individuals than of society; rather the offspring of a nation’s effort, than the inspired flash of a man of genius.” – Victor Hugo, The Hunchback of Notre-Dame.
The Kunsthaus Graz, or Graz Art Museum, Austria, was built as part of the European Capital of Culture celebrations in 2003 and has since become an architectural landmark. It specializes in contemporary art of the last four decades. Its unusual form differs radically from conventional exhibition contexts, many of which maintain the traditions of the modernist “White Cube”. The gigantic building, affectionately called the “Friendly Alien” by its creators Peter Cook and Colin Fournier, in form and material deliberately contrasts with the surrounding baroque roof landscape.