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Architecture that Bows.pdf
arq: architectural research quarterly (2016)
  • Andreas Luescher
This paper examines the museum dedicated to Pierre Soulages and its relationship with Soulages, the city of Rodez, the Forirail Garden (which is the site of the museum), and the ideas and practices realized by Catalan architects Rafael Aranda, Carme Pigem and Ramon Vilalta (RCR). The Musée Soulages is defined by the color black and the luminous fluidity of steel as designed by RCR Arquitectes; it is also aligned with an environmentalecology that literally and figuratively represents the town of Rodez with its Notre-Dame Cathedral. The central thesis is that the Musée Soulages inducts the visitor into a role of active participation andexchange in an atmosphere of transcendental logic, and, ultimately, a new way to experience black as a color rather than the lack of one. A visitor to the Musée Soulages becomes part of a theatrical event in which two actors —one French abstract painter, three Catalan architects—communicate in physical terms about the metaphysical environment, and the relationship between the scenographic and the tectonic in architecture. The Musée Soulages is a fascinating metaphorical representation of not only Pierre Soulages’s character and his work, but also of the role of the built environment and material culture that is intertwined with the body of Soulages’s expressive works. This essay focuses on the material and symbolic gestures created by Pierre Soulages and RCR Arquitectes to maintain and promote their particular world views, and examines the ways in which their expressive mediums and ideas are by turn harmonious and contradictory.
Publication Date
Fall 2016
Citation Information
Andreas Luescher. "Architecture that Bows.pdf" arq: architectural research quarterly Vol. 20 Iss. 3 (2016) p. 207 - 216
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