The Linz Castle has been home to the Upper Austrian National Museum since 1965. and recently it faced requirement for the enlargement of the exhibition space and new construction of the Southern wing. HoG Architektur’s architectural concept of the new wing is based on two strategies – to construct the missing wing from the fire in 1800, without closing the courtyard of the castle completely and to preserve the unique location above the city, accessible by the public any time. In order to achieve this, the new wing was layered horizontally and the central entrance level was designed as a transparent, half-open storey. It resulted with a space created above the city on top of the historic foundation through which one can enter the foyer, the museum shop and the restaurant.
The first level contrasts the maximum openness of the ground floor – it constitutes a metallic shimmering, windowless bar that floats above the solid historic wall foundation when viewed from the city. The construction as elevated steel truss enables a wide span and a projection of 30 meters above the main entrance. The steel truss of the upper level is built on three Ferro concrete cores which open up the whole building vertically.
The steel construction of the wing and the deliberate use of industrial building materials are testament for the city’s prominence as a center of steel production and also provide Linz with a symbol for the new direction of the museum and content of its exhibitions going forward. The contour of the outside of the new construction is in line with the shape of the historic foundation and reflects the entire volume of the historic Southern wing. Towards the courtyard emerges via the inclination and the bent of the new facades a break with the clear symmetry of the historic wing. Sloped plateau substitutes different levels of the formerly separated courtyard, now connecting topography with the retreating overall construction.
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