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Bern |The Zentrum Paul Klee by Renzo Piano

Place: Bern, Country: Switzerland
Zentrum Paul Klee
Architectural Design:
Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Text by Riccardo Bianchini, Inexhibit
Images courtesy of Zentrum Paul Klee - Bern
For other images see captions


The Zentrum and its landscape, photo by RIccardo Bianchini,  Inexhibit

Bern – The Paul Klee Center by Renzo Piano

The Zentrum Paul Klee, in Bern, is more than a museum dedicated to the Swiss artist from which it takes its name. Along with displaying the work of Paul Klee, it is indeed a multi-disciplinary centre which organizes a broad range of cultural activities: temporary exhibition, concerts, seminars, learning classes and workshops both for adults and for children in its Creaviva learning facility.But equally important, the ZPK is a place where being involved in a fascinating experience, beginning from its building.


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Photo: Zentrum Paul Klee / Erwin_Schenk_ZPK

The museum construction is a creation by the Renzo Piano Building Workshop and was conceived as a “landscape sculpture”, inspired both by the surrounding hills and by the idea underpinning many of Klee’s works, such as his “Monument im Fruchtland” (Monument in the fertile country) painting, where the cultivated fields pattern suggests an ideal union between art and everyday life.
Visitors approaching the museum are invited to take a walk around it, so to appreciate how the building is combined with the vegetation in an harmonious whole yet remaining perfectly visible. Such relationship between architecture and landscape is not only visual: the covering soil is indeed regularly sowed, cultivated and harvested by the Swiss College of Agriculture and a local farmer to provide organic crops.
The museum structure is formed by a succession of curved metal vaults, also working as a support for vegetation above.

Zentrum Paul Klee Renzo Piano conceptual sketch

Zentrum Paul Klee, a conceptual sketch by Renzo Piano

Klee Zentrum Bern

Photo by Martin Abegglen

Zentrum Paul Klee Renzo Piano site plan

Zentrum Paul Klee, site plan; image © RBBW


Photo by Riccardo Bianchini, Inexhibit

The frontal part of the museum buildings contains the most public functions: creative workshops and learning areas, the Kindermuseum Creaviva space, the library, the shop and the cafeteria, while the rear portion houses the exhibition galleries, the auditorium and various service spaces.
A separate restaurants is housed in a 19th century villa at very close distance from the museum.

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The entrance hall, photo by Paolo Mazzo

Zentrum Paul Klee Renzo Piano longitudinal section

Longitudinal section, © RBBW

Forgemind ArchiMedia_CC BY 20_13

The ZPK is particularly addressed to children and families, photos by Forgemind ArchiMedia

The permanent collection of Klee’s artworks are displayed on rotation through thematic temporary exhibitions which often combines pieces belonging to the Centre with artworks on loan from other institutions, thus constantly providing fresh events to visitors.
The overall atmosphere of the ZPK is that of a quiet, involving and inspiring place, able to foster not only the art knowledge but also a more relaxed vision of our times.


Photo by RIccardo Bianchini,  Inexhibit


Photo: Zentrum Paul Klee / Erwin_Schenk_ZPK

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Zentrum Paul Klee
Zentrum Pul Klee Bern

The Zentrum Paul Klee is a museum and a famous building in Bern primarily, yet not exclusively, dedicated to the Swiss artist from whom it takes its name

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