Beauty of yin and yang

View to Murinsel from Mursteg.

Yin and Yang represent a dualistic concept derived from ancient Chinese philosophy. In ancient China, the phenomena of opposition and unity in things – such as heaven and earth, sun and moon, day and night, cold and heat, up and down, left and right, movement and rigidity – were expressed by the Eastern concept of “yin and yang”, which showed that “opposites depend on each other”. These are abstract relationships, with “qi” as a figurative representation of this relationship.

In Austria, I would think that the beauty of yin and yang is actually a bridge that has existed for a short time in central Graz, called Graz Murinsel. This landmark is an artificial floating platform in the Mur River. It was designed in 1999, built in 2002, and was officially opened in January 2003. It served as a second modern landmark next to Schloßberg during the city’s year as European Capital of Culture (2003), complemented by the nearby Kunsthaus Graz. The goal of the project operator is to combine the architecture and art of the public space with the water experience of the city centre.

According to Robert Punkenhofer, founder and director of Graz Art and Creativity, New York artist and designer Vito Acconci created a spectacular object: a 50-metre-long, 20-metre-wide shell-shaped object with combination of an amphitheatre and a circular “Dom” (the artist calls it a cathedral-like dome). The artificial landscape is interspersed with dome and shell motifs, and can accommodate 350 visitors. This art platform allows anyone to communicate with the arts. The Murinsel is like a ship anchored in the river. The exterior is made up of two staggered bowl-shaped steel meshes, one facing upwards and one facing down, with indoor space, like yin and yang. This tai-chi design concept completely subverts the established concept of the theatre building. Inside the “Dom” there is a cafe (Island Cafe) and a children’s playground. The sky-blue floor in the cafe, the white tables and chairs and the palm trees are eye-catching. They made me feel the illusion of a tropical island club. The design of the blue glass adds some mystery. The area of the theatre is also dominated by sky blue and white design, which is much lighter compared to a large amount of stainless steel.

The sky-blue floor in the cafe, the white tables and chairs and the palm trees are eye-catching.

The “Island” is located on the upper side of the Edegger footbridge, on the north side of the main bridge, between Castle Hill (Schloßberg) and the Kunsthaus Graz. The linked bridge spans the Mur River.

With regard to the future or immediate usability of the facility, according to the audit report of the Graz Municipal Court concerning the annual accounts for the year 2008 Graz 2003 – European Capital of Culture Organizations GmbH, the Murinsel can be used for about 25 years. The first licence for a water-borne object and permission to operate the Graz Murinsel was limited until December 23, 2012. Regarding a possible (future) unfavourable water law judgement, the audit opinion was that – despite the obvious difference between the permitted duration of use and the useful life as stated in the audit – the Murinsel would have a positive market value even at the time of expiry of the water law permit. Given that it would be degradable and transportable, it would thus be saleable. It was noted that a corresponding provision had been made for the demolition costs. In 2011, €821,000 was reserved for reserved waste disposal.

From the opening, Murinsel has been loved by local residents and visitors. In 2013, the Federal Government extended water and transportation permits for another ten years. In the same year, it worked with Vito Acconci to design a technical structure that holds an awning above the theatre area. The purpose of this shading device is to promote activities in the open area of the island. After all, outdoor activities are more difficult to perform under the sun.

Another planning project involves the flow behaviour of the Mur River: on the north side of the platform, the impact protection of the floating objects should be strengthened. The flood on July 21, 2012 (levels peaked at 6.4 meters) forced the island to be closed for one day. Although the anchorage on the island remains stable, if the hull of the platform were suddenly to be hit by a floating log of 3 metres or more, the water may still leak in.

In 2017, the Murinsel regained its vitality. This striking building sees itself as the centre of Graz’s creative scene, hotspots and showrooms. The island showcases extraordinary products from the local creative industries and participates in the most diverse design themes. It has long been a place where artists love to meet up.

The highlight of the new design Murinsel is the newly refurbished cafe, showroom and shop area of the upper design store. Unfortunately, the children’s play area was replaced by the shop. In the outdoor area, the information screen informs visitors of local art, culture, science and design news.

The yin and yang junction is also an exchange. This special bridge (island) is not just for people to cross the river. It is also an artistic bridge of communication. In the evening, under the colourful lights, people like to linger.

Small notes: On the third Saturday of each month (except April and December), the City of Design in Cooperation works with local people (GrazGuides) to provide a special creative journey. These trips will be grouped together to showcase design hotspots and provide the stories behind the creative industry.

Murinsel in the night with Schlossberg. ©Wikipedia



在奧地利會讓我想到陰陽之美的竟然是一個原本該短暫存在的橋或稱為格拉茲木耳島- Murinsel Graz. 這個在格拉茲的地標是在木耳河中一個人造的飄浮平台。它於1999年規劃完成,建於2002年,於2003年1月在格拉茨中部的木耳河開放。是為了歐洲文化之都年(格拉茨2003年)期間在城堡山旁邊創造了該城市的第二個現代地標而產生的作品, 和在旁邊的現代藝術館(Kunsthaus Graz) 相輔相成。項目運營商的目標是將公共空間的建築和藝術與城市中心的水體驗相結合。

The purpose of this shading device is to promote activities in the open area of the island.

根據格拉茨藝術與創意創始人兼總監 Robert Punkenhofer(羅伯特潘肯霍夫)的想法,紐約藝術家和設計師Vito Acconci(维托·阿肯錫) 創造了一個壯觀的物體:一個50米長,20米寬的貝殼形狀,圓形劇場和圓形的“Dom”(藝術家稱它為大教堂般的圓頂)的組合。人造景觀由“圓頂”和“貝殼”穿插而成,可以容納350名訪客。這個藝術平台讓所有的⼈和藝術交流。木耳島像是⼀艘船被錨定在河中,外型由⼆個錯開碗狀的鋼網構造,⼀個朝上開放式⼀個朝下密閉式的空間組構⽽成,彷彿東⽅的陰陽與太極,完全顛覆了⻄⽅⼈對於劇場建築的既定觀念。在“Dom”裡面有一個咖啡館(島嶼咖啡館)和一個兒童遊樂場。咖啡館中天藍色的地板, 白色的桌椅加上棕梠樹讓人眼睛一亮, 有點感覺到熱帶島嶼俱樂部的錯覺。藍色玻璃的設計增加了一些神祕感。劇場的地區也是以天藍色和白色的設計為主, 在大量不鏽鋼的外觀對比中顯得輕快多了。  

“島嶼”位於Edegger行人天橋的上游,在於主橋的北面,位於城堡山(Schloßberg)和現代藝術博物館(Kunsthaus Graz)之間。連結的橋跨越木耳河兩岸。

考慮到這個建築物的實用性和未來或間接可用性,根據格拉茨市格拉茨市法院的審計報告,必須假設木耳島的使用壽命為25年。這主要涉及2008年格拉茨2003年 – 歐洲文化組織有限公司的財務報表。運營格拉茨木耳島的第一個水上使用權決定被確定限期使用直到2012年12月23日。鑑於對水權可能作出的不利決定,審計意見認為,儘管用水期限和使用年限明顯不同,但在水法許可證到期時,將會產生木耳島的正面市場價值。特別是這種建造物可以拆卸和運輸,因此可轉賣, 有變現能力。有人指出,將對拆除費用作出相應的規定。 2011年,為了預留廢物處理的措施甚至預留了821,000歐元。

Wellcome to the cafe!

木耳島從開幕來深受當地居民及訪客的喜愛。2013年,聯邦政府又延長了水和運輸許可證十年。 同一年,又與Vito Acconci合作,共同設計將遮陽篷放置在劇場區上方的技術架構形式。這種遮陽設備的用意在促進木耳島露天區域內的活動。畢竟室外活動在艷陽照射下比較困難進行。

另一個規劃項目涉及木耳河的流動行為:在平台的北側,應加強對漂浮物的衝擊保護。 2012年7月21日的洪水(最高峰:6.4米)導致木耳島長達一天關閉不能使用。島上的錨地雖然保持穩定,但若平台的船體突然被長達10英尺長的樹幹撞擊時,河水還是有可能會入侵。



陰陽交接處也是交流處。這個特別的橋(島)並不是只讓人過河而已, 它更是溝通的藝術橋樑, 晚上在五彩的燈光照映下, 讓人流連忘返。

Murinsel in the night with beautiful illumination. ©Wikipedia

小筆記:每月的第3個星期六(4月和12月除外),設計協調辦公室(City of Design in Kooperation)與當地達人(GrazGuides)合作,提供特別的創意之旅。這些旅行將單獨組合在一起,展示設計熱點,並提供創意產業背後的故事喔。