Please collect the key at Osteria Bar Giornico

20/05/2011 § 1 Comment

last summer my grandfather rented a house for my family out in the worn and tumbling hills of gers.  in the waning hours of the day, we into to the dirt road leading to the rental unit.  halfway up the rumbling road we passed a small concrete building bunkered into the slope of a mound protecting the wheat field from the dirt and exhaust of cars.  the building was all white; a thin slit filled with glass blocks and a large metal door dotted the facade.  above the door was a small illegible placard.  powerlines connected the building to the grid.

i couldn’t help but think of all sorts of mythical reasons for the buildings existence.  maybe local farmers had built this structure during the war to hide out during bombings.  maybe the protruding piece was just the vestibule to a much larger and more expansive structure extending out a hundred feet in every direction, like the entrance to the largest cavern in the region.  maybe this is where locals stored all their infamous pousse rapière.

having unpacked my bags, i went for a walk to loosen my stiff muscles.  obviously i went directly to the bunker building and obviously it was some sort of utility station.  later the owner of the rental told me it was a water pumping station, you know, that thing that provides pressure for the shower.  but why couldn’t it have been a museum?

if you happen to be in giornico, leventina, switzerland go to the osteria bar giornico.  ask for the key to la congiunta.  this utility building, so easy to drive by, is actually a museum to a dead sculptor, hans josephsohn.  i can’t comment too much on this building, having never been (this is the major problem with architecture school – it makes you want to go to all these places you can’t afford).  luckily people love to video tape everything.  here’s a youtube video taken by a lucky visitor.

the building oddly seems to fit into the landscape, not as a museum but as a utility building.  for more information and pictures on the building go here and here.  now i wish i had been more persistent in gers.  maybe i missed out on something truly amazing.

enjoy the weekend.

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