Christian Brandstätter, Klagenfurt
mischer*traxler studio, Wien
In contrast with the dubious past of similar institutions, Alois-Stacher Haus was designed by its architects not as a hospital but, explicitly, as a residential building which treats its elderly residents as autonomous users rather than as disabled persons per se. However, as the residents spend a lot of time in the building, the concept behind the artistic intervention is based on the idea of using individual measures to strengthen connections between the internal spaces and the city and to render changes in the outside world perceptible to those inside the building.
“Flying Gardens” is the title given by the studio mischer'traxler to the kinetic installations which they created for the two central internal courtyards which are inaccessible for reasons of safety. These installations dissolve the static appearance of the areas of water and greenery in the two courtyards by means of a gentle, vertical movement which creates a dynamic, floating, three-dimensional image of nature. A further installation in the entrance area translates weather data measured on the roof of the building into a similar, continuously changing setting which, once again, recalls natural processes.
The wall designs by the artist Marlene Hausegger facilitate a similar process of transfer from outside to inside, although this is achieved using technical and formally minimal means. The motifs for the six large areas of wall adjacent to the lift landings also draw from natural phenomena and were created using a total of 51,640 off-the-shelf coloured tacks which were positioned by hand.
Dependent upon the angle of observation, these quasi “pointillist” compositions produce a varying, dynamic image which, thanks to the additional haptic component, can also be perceived by simple touch.