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Karin Harather, Norbert Lechner :
Lower Austrian Old Peoples’s Home in Zwettl

Zwettl, 1995


The windows are filled with two flat plastic containers marked with a scale that shows the temperature, one behind the other. Their respective yellow and pink dyed oil fillings show the interior and exterior temperatures.

Harather and Lechner’s piece "An Tante" reflects the specific setting of the lobby of the Zwettl old people’s home. Their concept is based on a large window which opens up to the interior courtyard. The ‘window surface’ is essentially composed of two very flat and transparent plastic containers equipped with instruments for measuring the indoor and outdoor temperature. The display function of the given temperature is assumed by two differently dyed oils, yellow and pink, which become orange when they overlap in the middle.
The window as an architectural link between inside and outside forms a direct link between the interests, needs and desires in the social setting of the old people’s home, on the one hand, and the natural givens of the outdoor surroundings, on the other. The weather as a point of crystallization for the collective interests of older people, their conversations and their physical needs, is conveyed through the view of the window as a temperature scale. This social or architectural component of the piece is overlapped with its possible interpretation as an aesthetic field. The perceptual oscillation between looking outward and looking upward thus correlates with the content fluctuation between functionality and aesthetics.
(Doris Guth)