12 Töne Hauptbahnhof Wien

The architecturally elegant new central station, 12 Töne Hauptbahnhof, has a sensational eye-catcher inside: Across the walls of the 120-meter-long tunnel below the Gertrud-Fröhlich-Sandner Passage is a work of art by Peter Sandbichler, consisting of 1,100 glazed ceramic tiles in twelve different, vibrant colors. The surfaces are alternately concave and convex and arranged according to serial principles. The artist found this natural material particularly suitable because it is very resistant, easy to clean and, above all, colorfast; moreover, it can be found everywhere in the Viennese architecture of the Wilhelminian and Art Nouveau periods.
Walking or driving through the tunnel becomes a special experience, because the different profiles and the overlapping of shapes and colors result in constantly changing optical effects. Over the entire length of the passage, passers-by perceive the powerful installation as they pass by and out of the corner of their eye; they clearly feel the movement and the function of the place as a passage through the artwork. And this reveals the artist’s message: everything is constantly in flux, incessantly changing, never standing still – and it always depends on the angle of view!
It is no coincidence that the relief-like wall installation bears the title “12 Töne” (12 tones), in that Sandbichler explicitly refers to references to the twelve-tone method and the series technique in music. These too, analogous to his artwork, are based on fixed, limited sound material and serial-variant principles.

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