In the 70s, Robert Smithson extended art's reach well beyond the confines of the gallery, producing earth sculptures that looked as if nature had produced them itself. Over thirty years later, Italian mega-architect Renzo Piano is applying the same philosophy to his architectural sculptures. His latest building, the Zentrum Paul Klee museum in the Eastern outskirts of Bern, Switzerland, is as close as one gets to architecture in natural, poetic motion. Designed to pay true homage to the artist, Renzo's idea was to capture "the spirit of the sculptor," by working the structure into the earth and topography. The museum mirrors the exact shape of the hills, while preserving the sense of beauty and boundlessness of the nearby mountains that so inspired the artist's work. The site, a proverbial stone's throw from the artist's resting ground is cradled from behind by Klee's native Alps. The cars that race along its adjacent highway add a kinetic twist to the overall design by emphasizing the structure's repetitive, almost infinite steel and glass undulations. The innovative design of the complex echoes the museum's progressive multi-disciplinary approach to the study and appreciation of Klee's revolutionary vision. The collection is considered the largest of a single artist of world renown; of the 10,000 or so works that make up Paul Klee's oeuvre a good 40 per cent, that is to say around 4,000 paintings, watercolors and drawings as well as archives and biographical material, has been brought together at the Zentrum Paul Klee.

Zentrum Paul Klee
Bern, Switzerland