14.2.2022

Neue Galerie and Kasematten

The project is a result of a competition held in 2016 that set the task of making the casemates, an ammunition storage structure of the medieval fortress accessible to the general public in the form of new cultural centre/exhibition venue for the small city of Wiener Neustadt.

The project deals with the issue of reconstruction and integration of historical layers into the life of the city – the historical complex, hidden for a long time, can be experienced and understood in its entirety, while accepting new programmatic definition.

The area in front of the casemates is conceived as a gently sloping public square that connects the level of city to the semi-submerged level of the old structure, receiving visitors with a horizontally glazed ground floor. The visitor is then led through the maze-like – almost ‘piranesian’ structure of the old casemates, that have been transformed into an exhibition venue for the city.

New multipurpose hall – a kind of Kunsthalle space, lit from above, happens at the end of the subterranean promenade, it provides a natural, contemporary conclusion of the complex.

A gentle slope connects the space of the casemates back to the level of the Stadtpark, thus finishing the topographical outline of the complex – from the city, through subterranean historical layers of the fortress – back to the surface of the city and the green park.

The discipline of intervention is stressed though material definition of additions – the brick world of the historical structure is complemented and revealed through the cast concrete materiality of new additions – making the new and old visibly differ, yet appear united.

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