A juxtaposition of art and architecture

Thursday 12 Jul 2012

Metaform are behind the design for the apartment building which challenges the link between artist and architect using graffiti

A monolithic apartment building which integrates art and architecture has recently been completed by Metaform architects, contractor Immo Due, and Static Engineer INCA in Luxembourg.

Winner of the prestigious Building of the Year 2011 award, the building looms large and impressive; simultaneously alienating and distinguishing itself from neighbouring buildings with its dark architecture and unusual graffiti. At the same time, the apartment building incorporates a welcoming, almost soft interior, juxtaposing the unusual with the familiar.

The artwork is done by SUMO, a leading figure in the distribution and creation of ‘street art’, and has produced garish, vivid, and incongruous decoration to the structure. It challenges and manipulates the idea of classical architecture, of harmony between decoration and construction.

The graffiti seems to encroach in exterior and interior through a visual sliding effect, signifying the impression of architecture giving way to art, a comment evocative of the 'post-graffiti' dynamic and striking nature of SUMO’s work.

At 370 sq m, the urban construction is composed of four apartments which work to disassociate the stairs and elevator from the three facades of the building. This is intended to give flexibility and luminosity for the apartments by freeing the facades of the building from the circulation spaces.

The building’s exterior is crafted from shiny extruded metal, which creates a unique appearance; during the day creates a warm and powerful colour, whereas darkness lends the building a visual effect and the exterior blends into the sky. The artist’s work is often illuminated by lights. An all-glass ceiling allows sunlight to penetrate the north-oriented kitchen and dining room

Metaform architects specialise in residential architecture and have won multiple awards for their projects. They are based in Luxembourg.

Samantha Morley

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