Blur Building

BLUR
BUILDING

SWISS
EXPO
2002,
YVERDON-LES-BAINS,
SWITZERLAND

The Blur Building is an architecture of atmosphere—a fog mass resulting from natural and manmade forces. Water is pumped from Lake Neuchâtel, filtered, and shot as a fine mist through 35,000 high-pressure nozzles. A smart weather system reads the shifting climatic conditions of temperature, humidity, wind speed and direction and regulates water pressure at a variety of zones. Upon entering Blur, visual and acoustic references are erased. There is only an optical “white-out” and the “white-noise” of pulsing nozzles. Contrary to immersive environments that strive for visual fidelity in high-definition with ever-greater technical virtuosity, Blur is decidedly low-definition. In this exposition pavilion there is nothing to see but our dependence on vision itself. It is an experiment in de-emphasis on an environmental scale. Movement within is unregulated. The public can ascend to the Angel Deck via a stair that emerges through the fog into the blue sky. Water is not only the site and primary material of the building; it is also a culinary pleasure. The public can drink the building. Within, is an immersive acoustic environment by Christian Marclay. The lightweight tensegrity structure measures 300 feet wide by 200 feet deep by 75 feet high and is supported by four columns.

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  • High pressure nozzle
  • Aerial view
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  • Blur Building illuminated at night
  • Approach from shore
Project information
Size (GSF)80000LocationSwiss Expo 2002, Yverdon-les-Bains, Switzerland
Milestones
Commission1998opening15th May 2002closed20th October 2002
Credits
PartnersElizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio
Project DirectorsDirk Hebel and Eric Bunge
Design TeamCharles Renfro,Reto Geiser,David Huang,Karin Ocker,Andreas Quadenau,Deane Simpson,and Lyn Rice
    Photography by Beat Widmer