Last year the Austrian architects querkraft unveiled the Museum Liaunig in Neuhaus in Carinthia, which houses the collection of contemporary art of industrialist and art collector Herbert W. Liaunig and a collection of Akan gold objects.
The long gallery section is the only part of the building that is visible from the outside and offers views of the landscape from its terraces. The remainder of the museum is subterranean.
Here is what the architects say:
The Museum Liaunig projects out on two sides over steep-sided ground, high up in the landscape. A cut through the hill marks a precise intervention in nature.
Planted into the site the new museum emerges more like a work of landart. only a small part of the outstretched museum building is visible.
Cut through the hill, the main body of the museum slices athrough a densely-wooded, steep-sided embankment, providing an unparalleled view over the river drau seventy metres below. The building cantilevers an impressive thirty metres out, over a steep bank towards the approach road – clearly visible to approaching visitors.
The museum entrance zone is orientated toward both the centre of Neuhaus and the nearby historical castle owned by the museum’s patron. The substantial viewing storage depot is one of the main areas of the museum. stretching the whole length of the gently sloping approach to the main exhibition hall, visitors are accompanied by this ‘wine cellar of art’. This underground volume offers the possibility to organise a variety of exhibitions by virtue of flexible screens and lighting arrangements.
The building’s core is a 160metre long, fully daylit exhibition hall, with protected terraces at each end. The continuous 13metre wide, 7metre high room is covered by a part translucent curved-skin – an industrial element permitting daylight. The hall is organised with mobile exhibition panels.
Graphic collection and gold collection:
The daylight-free, gently conical room for the graphic collection lies adjacent the ramped entrance. The collection is enclosed by the main hall and is orientated towards the entrance. A window facing Neuhaus at the end of the graphic collection sits over the foyer. The gold collection is a separate chamber connected by a small corridor. Brigitte Kowanz’s light installation accompanies the way to the underground collection.
Efficiency and sustainability:
The high cost of the external envelope is avoided by sinking the majority of the building below ground. Rather than removing the soil, excavated ground is used to remodel the site. Industrial materials like concrete, glass and sheet metal dominate the visible portion of the building. Set into the hill, the building benefits from the temperate environment. A geothermal heat pump utilises the constant temperature of the ground. Rooflight substitutes artificial light as much as possible.
Client: vhl Museumsverwaltung GmbH
Project management: Erwin Stättner
Effective area: 4.400 m²
Land area: 15.000 m²
General contractor: werkstatt wien
Executive architect: querkraft zt GmbH
Structural enginieering: Werkraum Wien
Building technology: Dr. Pfeiler GmbH
Building services: strabag technik
Daylight simulation: Klaus Pokorny
Accompanying control: fcp