Reconfiguration of the museum entrance
RATAPLAN architects won the design competition to reconfigure the entrance area of “Niederösterreichisches Landesmuseum” in summer 2007. The jury had been convinced by RATAPLAN´s design concept because of the generous opening the architects created between foyer and forecourt. The new overall impression of the museum, the consistent use of natural, atmospheric and strong haptic materials as well as the ingenious linking of courtyard, museum and the museum´s garden were regarded as further assets.
The design competition had been launched primarily because a barrier-free path from the underground parking to the “Kulturbezirk”-area and an aspired redesign of the entrance area were needed. Furthermore, the museum garden at the rear of the building was to be configured barrier-free. Accompanying these necessary adaptations, contemporary museum infrastructure such as a coffee shop, a museum shop etc., were supposed to be installed into the foyer.
For the new design, the existing architecture created by Hans Hollein has been reflected in its sculptural language and in terms of materiality and scale. The impressive and strong vertical wave (“Welle”) with its potent, skewed pillars is now juxtaposed by a lank, horizontal structure made of Corten steel.
All the functions of the entrance area are combined under this formal steel sculpture, which – just like the wave – reaches out far into the forecourt of the museum. The new design, while making the entrance area clear and legible, also creates a sculptural counterpoint to the wave. The movement of the wave sculpture is taken over by the polygonal folded steel roof and anchors itself at the end of the water pavilion’s porch-roof, on the right of the forecourt. The steel roof is constructed of folded plates and seems to float above the entrance, combining the heterogenous parts of the building by simultaneously forming a cramp and marking it monumentally as a gate.
The foyer was re-designed functionally, too. It now contains all the necessary infrastructure, such as a visitor desk, the museum shop, the entrance desk and a coffee shop next to the entrance itself, while conveying openness and giving space for those waiting and watching. Additionally, on the upper floor, right above the foyer, a new exhibition space could be realized, now showing the collection of the “Landeskunde”-department. In summer, the glass front of the foyer can be fully opened and then forms a direct link between the garden and the forecourt, which nevertheless allows for people who do not want to visit the museum, to just hang around and enjoy the garden or the coffee shop.
Design team: RATAPLAN Architektur ZT GmbH
Project manager: Friedel Winkler, Gerhard Huber
Project team: Armin Draxl, Vera Kumer, Anna Moravek, Katharina Müller, Andreas Ratajski, Markus Steinmair, Andreas Trojer
Client: NÖVV represented by Arzberger-Höß ZT GmbH
Project partners: Building physics: DI Ewald Pachler – Ernst Nöbl
Structural consultant: DI Helmut Zieritz – Wolfgang Engel
Fire prevention consultant: DBI – Düh Beratende Ingenieure Keg – Bettina Düh
Graphic design: Andrea Zeitlhuber, Vera Kummer
Building control: Arch. DI Paul Pfaffenbichler ZT-GmbH – Ursula Bieringer
Heating/ventilation colsultant: Thermo Projekt – Robert Lang
Electrical consultant: Risk-Control GmbH – Herbert Hauber