Arrival at platform 2: Daniel Buren’s geometric colour
In Liège, artist Daniel Buren floods a TGV station with coloured light, his rigid geometry playfully affecting & brightly illuminating Santiago Calatrava’s architecture.

The exoskeletal architecture of Santiago Calatrava’s 2009 Liège-Guillemins Euro TGV station has been filled with colourful illuminations. French artist Daniel Buren has wrapped the building’s main canopy in glass panels, flooding the station inside with geometric and bright patterns. His work, Comme tombées du ciel, les couleurs in situ et en mouvement, will animate the space for a year, turning Calatrava’s recognisable monochrome aesthetic into a dance of light and movement.

With a practice spanning 50 years, Buren’s work plays with architecture as both framing device and element of the work itself, with several permanent and semi-permanent installations within various architectures from corporate HQs to public plazas, factory chimneys to an historic palazzo - in London his work is seen by thousands daily in the refurbished Tottenham Court Road underground station.

Later, monumentous installations such as in Liège can clearly be seen as a dramatic extension of the artist’s earlier works. In the 1960s and 70s, the artists explored the simplicity of stripes in an approach he called the “degree zero of painting”. That play of colour, form and its architectural setting have remained for the decades since, deeply considering the relationship of any work to the site, both formally and socially.

For Liège, the artist took a minimalist approach, taking Calatrava’s form ‘as-is’, but allowing his rigid gridded form to play with the building’s curving, ribbed structure - the architect approving of and giving permission to Buren’s project, which was an inititiative of the Uhoda Group, in collaboration with the SNCB and with the support of public and private partners

The result is a work in two parts: looking up, the visitor can clearly see the artist’s canvas of square panels, while the cast projection of those colours lays itself across the platforms, trains and passengers themselves. As such, it will be a work in constant transformation over its year in place, with weather, seasons and the activities of the station all effecting how it is received.

Daniel Buren was born in Boulogne-Billancourt, Paris, in 1938. He lives and works in situ.


Comme tombées du ciel, les couleurs in situ et en mouvement is a temporary installation at Gare de Liège-Guillemins, Belgium, until 15 October 2023.


all images Comme tombées du ciel, les couleurs in situ et en mouvement, gare de Liège-Guillemins, Liège Belgique, 2022 © DB-Adagp Paris, 2022

publication date
23 November 2022

Daniel Buren, Santiago Calatrava, Colour, Geometry, Installation, Liège, Light, Projection, SNCB, Station, Train, Transport


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