SANAA’s contribution to this re-industrialized World Heritage site is, by contrast, a pale concrete cube. Its bold square windows cut through walls and roof to flood the interior with light and bounce it back on the surroundings. The architecture has a simplicity and rawness that seem to project a perpetual newness, one of the aspirations of Modernism. The building’s relatively recent history is that the SANAA design won the commission for the Zollverein School of Management and Design, construction starting in March 2005, the completion date June 2006.
Trying to compose a photograph: the scale of the building is monumental in comparison to neighbouring domestic architecture yet indistinct against the changing winter sky, sometimes blending into light grey clouds.
SANAA designs have a correspondence with the qualities of mountains. (See the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York.) http://www.dezeen.com/2007/12/04/new-museum-by-sanaa-opens-in-new-york/. This analogical, possibly allegorical, connection points up their collaboration with the photographer Walter Niedermayr whose work explores alpine landscape, its dynamic of light, space, the effect of human interaction. His photographs of the Zollvereinschule assimilate its lightness, emphasizing a play between appearance, visibility and disappearance.