Competition Entry

by OpenFields and Christian Tonko

wmn1_web Schematic rendering of the new tower in front of the existing building

wmn2_web Elevation Karlskirche

wmn3_web Elevation Schwarzenbergplatz

wmn4_web Elevation Karlsplatz

wmn5_web Section AA

wmn6_web Section BB

wmn7_web Siteplan 1:2500

wmn8_web Siteplan 1:500

wmn9_web Plan E-1

wmn10_web Plan E+0

wmn11_web Plan E+1

wmn12_web Plan E+2

wmn13_web Plan E+3

wmn14_web Plan E+4


The Wien Museum is located at the edge of Karlsplatz the biggest open square within the historic Vienna city fabric. It its surrounded by remarkable historic architecture most notably the Karlskirche which dominates the eastern part of the square. Karlsplatz is a chaotic, unplanned space with a rich but turbulent history and its potential as a valuable public space of immense quality has only been discovered in recent years.
Historically the square is a leftover of the Glacis - the open space between city walls and the suburbs. Even today we understand this intermediate condition as a public space where various pavilions house different recreational functions. In that sense we propose the addition of a new pavilion which stands freely within the square and is elevated so the park landscape remains uninterrupted.
Our concept divides the new museum complex into 3 parts: the existing building, the new floating tower and the subterranean connection level. The existing building houses the permanent exhibition as well as the museum cafe, the tower contains temporary exhibition spaces and public studios and the connection level contains the museum lobby as well as the large temporary exhibition space.
Wide staircases continue the Karlsplatz landscape into the lower connection level and lead visitors towards the main entrances passing the public heart of the building - the event space underneath the floating tower - which is used independently from museum opening hours and in summer is being extended to the outside becoming a stage for the amphitheatre.
Circulation through the building is flexible and can be experienced in many ways. From the lobby all parts of the exhibition as well as other public functions are directly and independently accessible. At the same time it is possible to move through the entire building in a closed loop. The most spectacular view of the Karlskirche from the rooftop bar is always open to the entire public.