Museumsquartier Wien: Mumok, Kunsthalle, Leopold Museum
The project includes the construction of three museums and the refurbishment of the urban spaces in between them. All three constructions are respectful with their baroque neighbours and create one of the largest and most forward-looking cultural districts in the world.
Mumok (Museum of Modern Art)
The cube with its curved roof surface is completely clad with basalt lava. Slits in the ground along the façades facing onto the courtyard indicate that this building is sunk deep into the earth. Inside, the narrow hall containing the vertical circulation with its 41-m high void divides the entire building. The floor area measuring 30 x 51 m is thus split into two unequal parts: the exhibition area lies above the larger section, whereas the cabinet wing with its lower rooms is placed above the smaller part.
A compact block with a floor area of 40 x 46 m rises 24 m above ground level and penetrates 13 m into the earth. An atrium forming the centre of this cube cuts upwards through all levels, grouping the exhibition rooms around it in a pin-wheel arrangement. The external surfaces, including the roof, are clad with white shell limestone: a massive built stone shell, which through the quality of its materials and the way they are handled attempts to match the value of the works on exhibition.
In the Museumsquartier complex the Kunsthalle and the events hall, which are linked together, occupy a central position. Seen from outside, the Kunsthalle is a horizontal, sharp-edged block entirely of red brick, except for the projecting slabs inserted into the short ends. It is an independent element that stands close to the long side of the reading hall, its tiled roof overlapping the eaves of the old building.