Cube XXXVII

Cube XXXVII was erected before the Tower in a planning and realization time period of just four stages (July through October 1993), the first inhabitable structure after twenty years of intensive confrontation with the landscape. It looks like another cube, the 37th, situated directly on the south-west boundary of the property. Thus the site of “The Pit” facing the recent expansion of the village, has an architectural delineation and context. The surface area of the Cube XXXVII lies at an exact right angle to the wine cellar axis and to the more than 213 feet long “Steinbruch-Gang” (“Quarry Passageway”) and follows the alignment line of the front of the old wine cellar further. At the same time, this construction signifies the most south western corner of the property. Both of the exteriorally visible sides of the facade are completely closed, and only on the south-east wall does one find a narrow opening along the upper edge, where an open staircase (35 inches wide) leading to the mine pit emerges. From this point there is a 16 feet high opening giving a panoramic view of the lake and the Austrian/Hungarian landscape.

The Cube is accessible through the wine cellar and the newly constructed 98 feet long cellar passageway. The intention and departure point of the architectural project was to create the most compact and expansive living space on the smallest possible ground surface. Accordingly, given the existing geometric form, a clear and planned system was developed, an architectural language that becomes that of essentials. The facade side that is located on the side of the Cube facing the mine pit is opened in its entire height by a glass slit 25 feet high and 35 inches wide. From another slit at the highest point, open steps rise which provide an additional entrance to the sleeping berth while also giving an open view to the Neusiedler Lake. Located next to developed area, the Cube opens with one side to the man-made, but nevertheless untouched landscape, with a view of the terrain of “The Pit” and the 36 cubes in concrete.

The project time was shown for the first time at “Peter Noever: Upstairs down”, StoreFront for Art and Architecture, New York, 1994

[…] The monumentality of Noever’s vision and work are everywhere in MAK. The spaces that house its collections were designed by Gunther Forg, Donald Judd, Franz Graf, Jenny Holzer, Barbara Bloom, Eichinger oder Knechtl, Heimo Zobernig, Manfred Wakolbinger, Gang Art and Peter Noever himself. James Wines did an installation at the entrance to the bookstore, and the major exhibition for the reopening was a renovation of the renovated MAK “The City Inside Us” by Vito Acconci who spatially upended a major part of the museum. Together, they give Noever’s ambition to make Vienna an international center for art and architecture once again. In many ways the confrontation of the old MAK and the new Terrace Plateau is a portrait of Noever’s double life; a public figure in Vienna and a solitary worker in Breitenbrunn. In a world, where most of us contend with the limitations and constrictions that are bestowed upon us, Noever rather constructs his own.

Kyong Park in the exhibition catalogue “Upstairs Down”, New York, 1994

[…] Isn’t this architecture’s genius? This intimate union of the quotidian and the absolute vision. Noever’s a master of the architectonic primary, of the arts of scooping, cutting, casting, retaining, of the fundamental rituals of procession, of ascent and descent, of the skills of attachment and situation, of the frank obeisances the natural is ever due, of transcendent use. Consummate architect, Noever invents happy ways for bodies to be in the world. And, friendly to the forms of contentment, he does not demur at the swift imprint of the imageable. Unmistakeably, the pit’s airborne view’s the mirror of Venus. No point in making too much of this save one thing: Noever’s fond embrace of the abiding relevance of the familiar. Here, then, is architecture. In and out of its place and time, about bee-buzzing afternoons as much as the conundrums of art, Peter Noever’s place is assured, indelible, and very beautiful.

Michael Sorkin, “Terra Noever” in the exhibition catalogue “Upstairs Down”, New York, 1994