Salzburg, a cliff, a museum. Nouvel was interested in the specificity of each of these characteristics. The synergy of these three specificities bore a concept for a contextual project which could only exist here. Nouvel was seeking the poetics of the situation, an identity. Salzburg is a sacred place and any new mark should be measured. It must also be daring...and right. Simply right.
On entering the Bûrgerspital by the main courtyard, one becomes conscious of the cliff's sharpness and the presence of this classic building stuck to the rock. In the middle of the backed-on-to façade is a slightly pitiful shaft nesting into the rock...And from above, at the top of the cliff there is the mythic overall view of Salzburg. Nouvel proposed the creation of a sighting of Salzburg in the form of an arrow flying upwards, as a logical reaction to a static plan and which, from afar, could be read as a spire like an echo, a repercussion. It is just that in relation to the spire on the church of St Blasius. It could be even more so if the shaft became a truly slender, sharp point. With a perfect geometric cone of oxidised or gilded copper inside, the sharp triangle cut into the rock would become the halo of this shaft. It is a play between reality and non-reality, a concept and its materiality. In another way, inside the museum, this shaft is incisive, becoming a viewfinder. The view over Salzburg is so perfectly aimed onto the domes and most characteristic points of the city.
STATUS Competition, second place
LOCATION Salzburg, Austria
DATES April 1989
PROGRAM Museum, conference hall, library, restaurant, boutique
NET FLOOR AREA 11 140 m2
Jean Nouvel, Emmanuel Cattani & Associés.
Project Manager: Barbara Salin
ARCHITECTS Isabelle Agostini, Guillaume Neuhaus, Tania Concko, Nathalie Dupont, Michel Pennes