Art on Architectural Structure, 2000


Günther Förg

Various materials and dimensions

© 2006, Günther Förg

Image copyright Stefan Altenburger

What appealed to me was the fact that the residence is a copy of a Bernese villa. Almost too opulent and yet with a certain rigour that matches the year in which it was built. My goal was to reduce the opulence and emphasise the factual.

The late Günther Förg was invited to do the interior of our Centre for Global Dialogue at the Villa Bodmer, a 1920s neo-Baroque style of an 18th century Bernese country manor house. He subtly created a palette of colour designs for various rooms in the building, which was applied to all aspects of the rooms, from furniture, to walls. For example, he applied gold leaf to certain window frames and doors, as well as chairs. The walls were painted − one in red, another in a warm yellow colour. Each room has its own distinct character. He also placed two round columns in the central entrance area. Echoing the existing wooden carved columns, he deliberately placed these off-centre so we are not quite sure why they are there.

What was Förg's aim? "The painted walls, the furnishings and the architectural interventions were meant to fuse into a whole that has nothing to do with design or art," he said. "What appealed to me was the fact that the residence is a copy of a Bernese villa. Almost too opulent and yet with a certain rigour that matches the year in which it was built. My goal was to reduce the opulence and emphasise the factual."