Wien Museum Neu
The project features a “golden” roof containing the main exhibition room and a mirroring water pond concealing the large entrance hall and several functions underground. Within a context of many voices, or rather, noises, this project is tackling both the architecture of the Wien Museum and its setting in the Karlsplatz area by respecting the existing built and green environment.
Architects and urban planners have been longtime challenged to solve the undefined urban setting of Karlsplatz. Even the most recent interventions didn’t succeed.
Our project is starting from the assumption that the square doesn’t need one definition, but rather several ones, in dialogue between them, by preserving all and each identity on this shared urban field.
Within a context of many voices, or rather, noises, this project is tackling both the architecture of the Wien Museum and its setting in the Karlsplatz area by four sharp gestures: by detaching the renewed Winterthur from the Museum; by highlighting the roof as a golden landmark; by mirroring the façade into a water pond hosting half of the museum underneath it; by collecting art and people along a crossing path in the square.
An inviting new building is created, though concealed under its refreshed old skin. The result is a rich experience, plenty of different type of spaces, and a urban setting that recompose, empowers and dignifies the former poorly designed East end of Karlsplatz.
The building is composed of two main worlds. The above ground world, historical, generic, open, transparent, light and lively, and the world below ground, modern, specific, welcoming, protective, vibrant and suggestive.
Above ground, in the historical context of the existing building find place the two most urban and public activities: the café at the ground level (former entrance lobby), open on the new water pond, and the Wien raum, up in the panoramic bay-window and even above it, on the new widely open balcony. In the former building all administrative functions can enjoy the natural light and the re-gained openness of the existing windows. The top level is raised to create a high exhibition room of 2000 m2 basically freed from columns. It’s the temporary room A, physically connected through the covered courtyard and the existing staircase with the underground temporary room B. This room is covered by a large “golden” roof with few adjustable skylights supported by eight elegant steel columns.
The extensive permanent exhibition finds its place in the new underground level. In between tree roots (in concrete cylinders), the subway tube, parking walls and potential archeological findings, the exhibition rooms are tailor made for the museum collection. The Donner fountain ensemble and other remarkable objects are here placed in appropriate dedicated spaces with artificial light and few strategically located skylights. The Educational spaces, accessible outside opening hours, are directly open on the foyer. Here a large hypogeum space runs straight into the excavated courtyard of the existing building creating suggestive and dramatic vertical spaces and light wells.
The delivery area opens directly on a large goods elevator which connects all the floors of the new and the old building.
Placed enough below ground to appear discrete, and sufficiently above ground to be perceived and inviting, the entrance level is a sloping mezzanine crossing the water pond in two directions: north-south for the main bike and people flows, and west-east to invite and collect the users of the square. People can here find a place to stay and seat, to refresh and peep below ground, into the exhibition areas and the large foyer. Its glass façade is the most effective banner. At night, it will light up the path and invite visitors to the event space below it.
(designed with Marta Roy Torrecilla - Kartonkraft; collaborators: Matteo Meschiari, Claudia Muzi, Immanuel Tashiro. Model maker: Laurens Kistemaker).