The Art Space

This semester’s studio will design a space for art by means of a reflection on the relation between architecture and art. Architecture doesn’t exist without artistic aspiration and design ambition. Nevertheless, architecture is not art. Its individual expression is limited since it is always bound to a purpose, to the logic of technicality and craftsmanship. However, art has served architecture since antiquity. Be it private or public, almost every building was adorned with sculptures or paintings, up until modernity. Only then did the relation between art and architecture start to radically change, as art itself became the purpose of architecture.  Relegated to becoming the vehicle or means of art presentation, architecture is thus forced to reflect upon itself. The question is no longer: which art for which architecture? It is rather the opposite: which architecture for which art? The contemporary omnipresence of art, and thus of the art space, has rendered museums and galleries as architectonic bestsellers. However conventional routines slowly crept in, turning the art space into an ordinary room. The pointless and faceless exhibition space now only comes after the building’s envelope.

Are we witnessing a crisis of the art space? We are going to question it and its architecture, by means of a direct confrontation with art. Each student will design the ideal space for a specific artistic position (or a group of works by one artist). The choice of the site will be an integral part of the design, as we will not assign any specific site. The whole planet is a potential site. The task is to think of a scenario for an art space, which will lead to a type and a site, and then finally to the design. The studio will be running in collaboration with the internationally renowned art gallery Hauser & Wirth and their artists. An important part of the studio will be taking place in Los Angeles, during the study trip at the end of September, where we shall visit different art spaces and meet artists in their creative context. Los Angeles will thus be a stopover on our way to genuine, new spaces for art.

This course has an irregular meeting schedule.

Emanuel Christ and Christoph Gantenbein will be in residence on August 29 and 30, September 15 and 16, October 13, 14, 27 and 28, November 10, 11, 21 and 22, and December 7, 8 and 9. The studio trip will take place September 24 –29/30.


  • The Art Space

    Emanuel Christ and Christoph Gantenbein, Instructors

    May 2017