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Zentrum Paul Klee

Paul Clemence and Aksel Stasny

Architecture takes time: a poetic eulogy to the Zentrum Paul Klee by Renzo Piano.

"I think ultimately this film is about connecting to architecture, to space, about making time to be conscious of it, noticing space, noticing light playing with space, the lines of the buildings," says Paul Clemence, in an interview about the short-film he directed with Aksel Stasny at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern.

Appointed by the Art Museum of Switzerland, Stasny and Clemence created a series of short, social media-friendly clips of all 12 museums of the organization. However, working over this project, they found out that what they were doing was growing "to be much more, while still showing off these important institutions".

After completing the commissioned work, they decided to go "beyond it and with the extra material we had we created special edits more architectural focused. And, without the time constraints needed by social media, we were able to use longer, more indulgent shots that better expressed the architectural concepts".

Among the twelve museums, two were designed by Renzo Piano: Foundation Beyeler in Basel and the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern, now playing on The Architecture Player. "Being at these two extraordinary designs by Renzo Piano gave us a unique opportunity to express this appreciation for both his work and architecture," say Stasny and Clemence.

They decided to move away from a journalistic approach of capturing Renzo Piano's buildings in motion, to show the atmosphere and movement of each building: "We believe that it’s a lot more memorable that way. We also felt compelled to deliberately slow down the speed of movement of our camera and montage".

The keyword for this film is "Let the architecture speak for itself": the camera observes the artistic center, posing on the paintings, on the way the light gently transforms the majestic architecture, pausing on the structure but also on the fields that run around the Paul Klee Zentrum. For this short film, the duo wanted to highlight Italian architect Renzo Piano's architectural vocabulary: the masterful use of light, the carefully orchestrated relationship between in and out, the seamless connection to the surroundings, and the precision of craftsmanship.

Paul Clemence is an architectural photographer, while Aksel Stasny has a more narrative film-making background and started to work on architectural designs with Paul. "Scouting a place and finding the intent and mood it emits and then trying to adapt it into moving images, is something I've always been very passionate about. Together with Paul's expertise in architecture and his eye for details, it became a very interesting mix. To make a long story short – experiencing and walking through Renzo's impeccable architecture and buildings of art and our follow-up conversations about it was the biggest and far most important inspiration".


Architect: Renzo Piano Building Workshop
Mentioned project: Zentrum Paul Klee (1999-2005)
Project location: Bern, Switzerland
Music: Moby - Aerial

Switzerland 2018
Duration: 1'37"