Sunday, 20 February 2011

Contemporary Architecture of Liechtenstein

The second issue of the “Contemporary Architecture” series of stamps issued on March 2010 by Liechtenstein Post , draws attention specifically to buildings which originated in Liechtenstein at the beginning of this millennium and which because of their function lead a somewhat secluded life away from heavily used streets and far from the gaze of culturally discerning tourists.

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The first stamp shows the “natural-gas filling station” in Vaduz (face value CHF 2.60), built in 2001 for the Liechtenstein government by architects EFFEFF of Vaduz.

The need to construct this building, which is popularly dubbed the “spaceship”, arose from the government’s decision to put its faith in buses fuelled by natural gas. Generating the pressure needed for fuelling these natural-gas busses requires a compressor station and filling station, the geometry of which must allow for the busses’ turning circle. So it was that in the middle of the Vaduz business district an extraordinary- looking structure came into being whose special aesthetic properties are particularly evident at night.

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The second stamp depicts a futuristic-looking building which stands alone at Rhine level outside the bustling centre of Schaan: the transformer station of the Liechtenstein Electric Power Authority (face value CHF 3.60).

This building, created by the architect Marcel Ferrier of St. Gallen, consists of a cylinder over whose outer shell there is a 72 m² large shield of dark photovoltaic panels, which follows the course of the sun on rails and in optimum solar exposure generates up to 4.3 kWh of electricity. Another distinctive feature of the building are its arched twelve-metre-wide and five metre high sliding doors.

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