Sometimes built work is so slick and alluring that I’m immediately suspicious. Case in point: these are images of a festival hall built by Delugan Meissl Associated Architects (the same folks who built the EYE film institute in the Netherlands), which sits in rural Austria, along the border of Germany just south of Munich. The spaces of the new festival hall here are generated though folds, facets and creases that are nestled into a scenic landscape, with the exception of a dramatic roof that leaves the ground to punctuate the building with a dramatic cantilever. The gesture is finished in a dark, tessellated surface that belies the light circulation spaces inside, but the most interior part of the building is an auditorium finished with richly-colored wood.
While I was in architecture school, I tried to make a project of mine look a bit more sleek by painting the exterior of the model a glossy black. At a critique the next day, my professor let me know this change was no good, saying “this is no longer your project, this is your project’s evil twin.” Since then, I wonder about the motivation for making buildings so dark. Would the project in Austria appear as successful if the exterior were finished in something lighter like polished aluminum tiles? Or would that be this project’s evil, albino twin? There’s something about the contrast that makes it necessary for this building to be dark on the exterior, I’m just not exactly sure why.