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Monolith, Jean Nouvel
Jean Nouvel’s floating monolith on a lake outside the village of Morat was one of the icons of Expo.02, the national exposition which involved five cities in Switzerland.
Nouvel’s Monolith is a 34m cube of rusting Corten steel plates sitting in the middle of the lake. Inside, there are three main spaces with three panoramas. The bottom level is taken up with a 360º screen showing a digital presentation on Swiss themes. The middle level looks out onto the lake, with a line of perforated metal panels providing just enough space to see out. This is an extraordinary space – dark and atmospheric. At the top, housed in a giant hanging cylinder, is a recreation of a 19th-century painting of the battle of Morat.