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Located between 1st and 3rd district on the Ringstrasse in Vienna, a block of three cultural buildings presents an architectural whole with all parts maintaining their physical autonomy. The buildings are intended to house the content of the Museum for Applied Arts and partly accommodate the University of Applied Arts. Winning the competition for the reconstruction and linkage of the existing buildings, Wolfgang Tschapeller’s design seeks not only to restore the architecture, but also to reinvigorate the urban tissue of the site.

The project proposes demolition of the existing link building, creating room for a façade-climbing structure comprising staircases, elevators and alternative exhibition spaces. The newly added content will be enveloped by an undulating glass skin. The proposed intervention will create larger floorplates within the building for studios, as well as extended areas for lecture halls, workshops and storage spaces. An internal plaza will also be enclosed behind the extruded facade, while gardens will bridge the spaces between this block and its neighbor. Two large pneumatic balloons are to be positioned on the roof and will be inflated to signify special events or occasions. A large staircase, “the Broadway”, will run diagonally across one of the elevations, acting as a means of circulation and a platform where knowledge of the 17 different studios is exchanged. “It is the informal marketplace for cross-disciplinary projects.”

 

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