Public Art Project: Mural for a Vocational College, Merano
Architecture: Stefan Palla, Verena Unterberger, Merano
Procedure: International open art contest, 1. price
Realisation: 2003

For the Merano vocational college 'Marie Curie', where social work professions are taught, I developed a formal structure that permeates both the historic main building and a newly added wing. This structure was inspired by the fickle nature of foam and refers to the history of the building erected as a Spa Hotel and flagship of the health resort Merano in 1907. Imagine the spa ingredient foam rising inside the building and manifesting on certain walls it intersects. These foam cross sections were realised as a mural running throughout the college's staircases and recreational zones.

Painted in layers of interference pigments, the mural shifts in colour depending on the angle of both incident light and observer position. This points out the organisation of time over the course of a typical school day and addresses the students' need for movement by inciting their interaction.

Foam also shares its net-like construction principle with the new structures of globalised information that impact learning processes towards individual flexibility. By way of potentiation, the mural advances multiple views as is central to the social professions studied on site. Its colour shifting properties also allude to the experiment as the seed crystal for universal knowledge, pointing to the school's patron: the experimental scientist Marie Curie.

Katarina Matiasek, 2003