Querkraft Architects, together with the Technical Museum of Vienna,
designed a new entrance foyer and shop for the existing building. Older
museum buildings are challenged to expand and modernize whilst
remaining attached to their existing historical structures. In the 90s
the technical museum faced precisely this difficulty as it tried to gain
more space for a larger entrance foyer, a new museum shop and café as
well as sufficient amenities, cloakroom space and ticketing capacity.
The architectural solution that was chosen in the 90s was a steel-glass
box placed in front of the existing historical structure. This solution
proved problematic on a few levels shortly after the opening in 1999.
The foyer was dominated by large temperature fluctuations, poor
acoustics and ventilation, as well as less than optimal visitor
The creation of a clear master plan and visitor circulation with an
accompanying welcoming emotional atmosphere improved the overall
experience of the building. At the middle of their design solution are
multifunctional pieces of furniture made of glass-fiber reinforced plastic
and fabric. These ‘trees’ provide seating, shade and acoustic
absorption and at night they serve as an illuminate bodies which fill
the room with white or blue glowing light. The objects, which resemble
trees and can be perceived as a innuendo to the relationship between
technology and nature, formally envelope the steel columns and allow a
view through the glass ceiling and on to the historical façade.
-> New issue: "eVolo 04 - Re-imagining the Contemporary Museum, Exhibition & Performance Space"