Design Studio WS 96/97


Not far from St. Stephen’s Cathedral – undoubtedly the most central and prominent location within Vienna – is the so-called Cathedral and Diocesan Museum. It houses quite a considerable number of relics, sculptures and paintings, some of which are kept on towering pedestals as well as in display cases. However, the hanging of the paintings causes obvious difficulties. The carpeted exhibition rooms on the second floor are designed as a series of individual passageways. As a result, the image of a stately home tends to impose itself on the visitor. In any case, the local proximity to the cathedral and the almost constant visual presence of this Viennese landmark have an identity-forming effect.

The first task is to develop a spatial design concept for two of these rooms on the upper floor, so that an adequate perception of the exhibits is made possible. The focus of consideration is a large-scale multi-part altarpiece, which is also positioned at the end of the visual axis of the linearly joined rooms. In addition, the construction of possible resting places or the sensitive redesign of a chapel room also used as an exhibition space. Furthermore, ideas are to be developed about a sign that clarifies the connection between the cathedral and the cathedral museum, and thus is able to draw larger parts of the stream of visitors of the church into the museum. The coat of arms currently hanging in the passage is only marginally convincing in its form and function. It is therefore a sensitive tightrope act between opening up a historical situation and preserving existing architecture as far as possible.


It is planned to conduct this course with a limited number of participants in the form of a small competition and, if necessary, to bring the winning project to execution. The graphic representation of the design is only a part of the task. Substantial attention will be paid to the simulation of the design on a 1:1 scale. Thus, an intensive construction phase will be scheduled in the spatial laboratory (probably from 20-26.11), which will provide spatial information about the chosen measures and their effect. After that, the projects will be revised based on the knowledge gained. The design proposals (including model construction work) are to be in the scale range 1:100 to 1:1. In particular, interior design details and samples are to be shown at a scale of 1:20. If necessary, further 1:1 simulations can and should be carried out on site or in the space laboratory.