Opposites playing happily together

Once again I visited the Kolumba Museum in Cologne which houses the Roman Catholic Archdiocese’s collection of art.
Each time I enter this museum I immediately feel the friendly dialogue between past and present. The new museum building, rising delicately from remnants of the old walls, reaffirms the idea of opposites playing happily together.
I love to wander through its almost private and unagitated exposition rooms, flooded with light coming through huge floor-to-ceiling windows. The whitish coated concrete walls and floors reflect the incoming natural light. I enjoy taking a brake in the cosy reading room equipped with comfortable brown leather armchairs.
My thoughts have enough space to flow and my eyes observe closely the dense urban surrounding.

The juxtaposition between traditional and contemporary art, new and antique architecture, inside and outside, light and shadow, plays tricks on my senses and tickles me.
Because of the blurring of boundaries the building becomes part of an architectural continuum.

The architect Peter Zumthor placed naturally the new museum walls on the church ruins and original floor plan of Saint Kolumba. Numerous openings, big apertures and small perforations, let light illuminate art and archaeological findings.
At the end of my visit I step out into the silent courtyard where once has been the cemetery. I take place on a modern aluminium chair and enjoy the soft and still weak sunrays while viewing the brass sculpture lying in front of original arcs which have survived courageously the ravages of time.
The perfect balance between crass opposites lets me experience a peacefully atmosphere. I’m smiling inwardly.

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