Ground floor and forecourt
Why is it being altered?
The Kunsthaus foyer should be more than just a place for information and buying admission tickets, publications and souvenirs. It could also be a place where you meet up with friends, relax, encounter artworks without having to pay, a place for activities aimed at everyone who enjoys art or is curious about the Kunsthaus. It should also be a place that balances commercial and non-commercial agendas, so that there are plenty of engaging things you can do without having to spend money.
But there are also practical reasons for the alterations:
The distance of the preparation kitchen from the dining room at the Kunsthaus Café has proved awkward for all involved. Large numbers of meals and drinks have to be carried across the foyer during Kunsthaus opening hours; the smell of cooking spreads into the exhibition spaces. Apart from this, the Kunsthaus furnishings (curtains, seating) are worn and need to be replaced. In the course of the redesign, particular emphasis will be placed on meeting the needs of people with hearing and visual impairments or restricted mobility. The building’s information and signage system will also be revised.
Who is involved?
The redesign of the foyer will be carried out in collaboration with architects Niels Jonkhans and Gerhard Eder, who previously worked on the construction of the Kunsthaus with Peter Cook and Colin Fournier. Landscape architects Topotek 1 will develop proposals for the outside space in 2017, presenting various future options for use. The intention is to implement temporary realisations in a ‘schematic’ form.
Key word: test phase – the redesign process – design and adjustment
Artists, designers and architects – including Superflex, Oliver Hangl, Tristan Schulze, Topotek 1, Anna Lena von Helldorff and Oliver Klimpel – will test out various forms of communication and use, connecting the focus on artistic content at the Kunsthaus with the functional and economic requirements for a contemporary exhibition venue.
In collaboration with the FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences, the artists, designers and architects involved in the renovation will give lectures at the university. Conversely, lecturers, students and graduates of the University of Applied Sciences will speak at the Kunsthaus.
How is the redesign being financed?
The alterations are being financed by reallocations from the current budget, and without any special funds. The redesign will be carried out in two stages, in 2017 and 2018.
What will be new?
Kitchen: The preparation kitchen will be moved into the Eiserne Haus. Delivery will take place via the inner courtyard of the Kunsthaus and no longer via the side facing the River Mur.
In 2017, the foyer will be opened up mainly in the direction of the River Mur. Three large entrances to the Kunsthaus are planned here. Designer Anna Lena von Helldorff will be revising the information and signage system. The foyer will be refurbished in 2018 and the Kunsthaus curators will devise a new programme for it. In 2018 the focus will also be on the team of attendants: various Styrian fashion labels will consult and collaborate with employees to develop specific, individual outfits.
The forecourt facing the River Mur will at first be given a temporary design by Topotek 1. Founded in 1996, Topotek 1 works at the intersection between architecture, landscaping, design and art. With simple features – colour surfaces, lighting accents – a range of design options are created. For the time being, the forecourt will act as a changing exhibition zone for street furniture/urban design.
Kitchen, ticket desk/info, shop:
The current “Küchenei” will be cleverly transformed into a new entrance counter, so shifting the main entrance of the Kunsthaus to the side of the building that faces the Mur River. This will reintroduce the permeability planned by architects Cook & Fournier – combined with various visual connections.
The shop will also move towards the counter. Its operator will, however, keep some presentation areas in the Kunsthaus Café.
During the redesign, a cash dispenser will be installed. Here the Danish artist group Superflex will take on a special role: “Radical ATM” starts with the new Kunsthaus cash machine and launches a multi-year project focused equally on investigating capitalist and Marxist forms of economy.
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