ZKM Center for Art and Media Technology
The competition for the ZKM introduced a prototypical program for the late 20th century—the media and technology center—reflecting the new immanence of digital and electronic imagery in daily life. This project responded to the competition brief with a proposal composed of four parts, including a public passageway, a core, two specialized compartment spaces, and an electronic “casing” or exterior.
The urban line of exchange is a linear public passage proposed as an alternative to the concentric Baroque structure of the historical Karlsruhe. It offers a new urban system based on communication and interchange placed at the historical edge of the city, luring the old limit into a new typology. more
Located at the center of the building is a linear core, a public space with maximum visibility and excitement. This linear core allows for public “mediatization” of specialized research.
The two compartments located on each side of the linear core contain all specialized functions. On both sides, the more public spaces are located on the lower floors, the more specialized spaces on the upper floors. The functional and construction systems of the two compartments are intentionally simple: repetitive cells on a regular concrete structure. The simplicity and sobriety of the building suggest that the emphasis of ZKM is placed on developing new media—on the construction of technology rather than the technology of construction.
The building is enclosed on the south side by a double-glazed skin or casing that reacts to variations in external light and sound. On the north side, the skin appears to emerge from a perforated stainless steel enclosure. The digitized facade of the casing serves both as enclosure and as spectacle. Its perpetual change reminds us that if architecture once generated an image of stability, today it may also reveal the transience of unstable images. back
Competition, 3rd Prize, 1989
Center for Art and Media Technology
Lead Designer: Bernard Tschumi. Key Personnel: Mark Haukos, Jakob Lehrecke, Jean-Pierre de l'Or, Robert Young, Midori Yasuda, Koichi Yasuda, Philippe Gavin