Ortner & Ortner's Architectural Concept
From the outside, the building appears like a dark, closed block, its roof curving down low on the edges. It is monolithically clad in anthracite grey basalt lava on the façades and roof surfaces: thus it is clearly set apart from the adjacent level and seems to emerge from the deep. Large connected interior units assure a maximum of flexibility.
A ten-meter wide outdoor stairway leads to the entrance plateau four meters above the courtyard level. Inside, a hall lit from above divides all of the levels into two differently proportioned groups of rooms. The entrance level is the centre of the building's height. Two main exhibition levels are above it and two below it. Another lower level is used for storage and utilities.
On one side of access hall, five 5-meter-high, pillar-free exhibition areas measuring about 700 square meters each are stacked above each other. These areas can be flexibly subdivided. On the other side, there are more intimate rooms measuring 250 square meters each. Here the ceilings are 3.50 meters high. In between, openly positioned in the 35-meter-high hall, are the passenger elevator bank and the freight elevator.
The various levels are connected by footbridges. Situated right next to the foyer are the first major exhibition space, the shop and - on the mezzanine to the old building - the café. A separately usable event area is situated below the outside staircase. The administrative offices are in the adjacent old building wing, which can be accessed via the aboveground passageway. The delivery zones and workshop areas can be found in the Oval Wing and are connected to the new building by means of an underground tunnel.
In terms of architectural design, the museum facilities are limited to general reduction. They are equipped with a sophisticated and flexible artificial lighting system which creates optimal presentation conditions. The upper exhibition hall receives natural light through a large opening in the curved ceiling. The other slit-like openings and the panorama window in the uppermost floor give visitors a view to the outside and help provide a sense of orientation.