The Vienna-based practice Treusch Architecture unveiled the new extension of the Ars Electronica building in Linz in January this year. The sculptural glass-steel construction has been nominated for this year’s WAF Award (World Architecture Festival), shortlisted under the ‘Culture’ category.
Situated between the River Danube and the historic buildings on the one hand and the new Ars Electronica Center on the other, the open deck of Treusch’s extension – the “heart of the Center” – provides public space and seating for open-air theatre and presentations and seems to be perfectly integrated into the city’s events.
But let’s the architects explain it better:
The main thought behind the design has been to create a sculptured building with a structure totally accessible by foot, and therefore an exciting experience within itself. The existing Ars Electronica Center and the new extension are connected to form one unit to be perceived as an ensemble. The crystal-like appearance generates a homogeneous interaction with its surroundings, at the same time becoming a distinctive landmark.
The new building forms a unit with the existing AEC. By designing the building in the form of a large glass cube with a double facade, an impression of homogeneity is achieved.
The exhibition area is located beneath this outdoor platform – the main deck – between the main building and the future lab facilities and can be flexibly divided into larger or smaller exhibition areas.
The future lab facilities – for media art research – comprise laboratories and workshops in the basement with offices and recreation rooms above. The upper deck, which is also an outdoor platform two storeys higher than the main deck (and adjacent thereto ?), offers space for additional exhibition areas, presentations, events, etc.
The existing Ars Electronica Center is connected to the new main and supply building by a steel & glass construction.
The double glass facade, partly transparent and partly translucent, can be illuminated by LED (liquid emitting diode) technology installed in the space between the two layers of the facade.
Each facade element with its own LED panel can be individually controlled, with colour and brightness/intensity (RGBW) infinitely variable.
This innovative lighting system – unique in Europe – presents artists with a whole new range of imaginative creativity. The Ars Electronica Center also presents another speciality as standard illumination, the facility to display pure white light. The AEC building turns into a glowing white crystal at the touch of a button.
Static constructive concept
An encasing steel-glass-construction connects the existing and new several stored main- and supply building.
All new main bodies will be erected with massive construction.
At the main and supply building with 3 basements, ground floor and 5 upper floors, the solid ceilings reach from exterior wall ~12m from exterior wall to exterior wall. The exterior wall till inclusive 1 upper floor will be accomblished through massive ferro- concrete walls with minimum approx. 50% wall percentage. Beyond there is a frontage-backup- system which is absorbing the ceiling.
The encumbrances will be bleed off by raft footing into the underground. All assemblies are accomplished as waterproof ferroconcrete construction till the level of the 500 annual flooding. The lift security is given by empty weight.
The occurred horizontal encumbrances are bleed off into the underground through the north side arranged staircase core as well as the massive exterior walls in connection with the stiff ceiling disc.
Location: Linz, Austria, EU- wide competition 1st price
Employer: City Linz, represented by Immobilien Linz GmbH und CoKEG
Project leader: Ing. Harald Jakober
Architect and General- Planning: Treusch Architecture ZT, Architect Dipl.-Ing. Andreas Treusch
Realisation time period: Begin of planning 2006, Conclusion December 2008, opened 2. January 2009
Data (total, holding): Land area: 4.227m², Building area: 3.336 m², Floor space: 5.074 m², Gross floor area: 10.557 m², Gross volume: 57.159 m³