The stairwell connecting the old and new wings has thus been embellished with a work that is responsive to the site’s architectural parameters and that traces an arc from a more traditional to a modern style of architecture.
Rist’s installation consists of thousands of coloured, facetted beads which she strung on wires and which together give the impression of a rather crudely pixellated picture. The plastic beads form a colourful curtain, which because it catches the light streaming in from the outside casts coloured shadows on the walls – shadows that vary in shape and intensity depending on the time of day and year. Rist once referred to her work as a “colour shower” raining down through all six storeys and so connecting them. Titled aufgeweckter Rosenscheitel (lit. “aroused rose apex”), it is indeed a kind of rose window – that is to say, a contemporary variant of the rose windows of Gothic cathedrals, which bathe their interiors in atmospheric light. Thanks to Pipilotti Rist, therefore, Basel’s “Architecture Boulevard” linking the main station and the Rhine is now one major cultural attraction richer.