Eisenstadt, Austria: the new congress centre designed by pxt

A single body wrapped in an expanded metal envelope

by Malcolm Clark
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The new Eisenstadt Culture Congress Centre in Austria has been designed by the Viennese architects pxt - Pichler & Traupmann Architekten.

The project is designed so that externally it is a single body, the result obtained by winding an expanded metal sheet envelope around a large part of the extension of the existing building. This design approach, while strongly emphasizing the compactness of the building complex, makes clear references to the urban context.

Much of the volume is concentrated at the point of connection of the existing building and the small structure located south-east of the design area. The increase in the height of the building, designed by the architects, helps provide sufficient light and air to this part of town, while the mass of the building is a response to a larger scale of Osterwiese.

Covering the whole building with a continuous transparent screen ensures that there is no distinction between the front and rear. The projections can be made on any side of the building so that in summer it can be used as an open-air auditorium or cinema.

The attractiveness of the external path created by pxt is reinforced by the fact that pedestrians can look inside the Landesgalerie along almost its entire length. The square in front, the Schubertplatz, 'flows' into the building making it part of the public space, while to the spectators who are outside, the foyer is revealed as a place of social interaction.

A new bridge built on this façade uses the existing spatial and structural points. In contrast to the existing bridge, the new element extends to funnel down towards the hall upstairs. The new main entrance, located underneath this bridge, like the existing structure, is designed as a covered area.

    Eisenstadt Culture Congress Centre 16

    Eisenstadt Culture Congress Centre

    Eisenstadt / Austria / 2012