The Bolzano Museion, to plans by the Berlin firm of KSV Krüger Schuberth Vandreike was designed under a clear architectural and functional brief as a museum for contemporary art and the activities engendered by it in our present-day context: communications, theme presentation, art research into the contemporaneous. Inside the Museion there is constant counterpoint between permanent display areas and spaces ready to house short-term exhibitions. The mixture of museum pieces and projects makes this a laboratory of art and culture. With its flexible open plan this is at once a classic Museum or art gallery, a forum for events and meetings, and a centre complete with a library, teaching rooms, an auditorium and a cafeteria.
The architecture expands on the idea of a museum as a place of multicultural expression. The cube-shaped building’s whole envelope was made possible by the joint venture between Rizzani De Eccher and Vega Systems. The side walls are blind and stark, clad in metal plates. They contrast with the entrance façade and the rear elevation, which are both completely glazed. The effect is a kind of transparent ‘funnel’: an invitation to go into the museum and see the transformations art is effecting - as well as dialoguing with the town setting. But transparent walls are more than just a symbol: the glass structure has a productive function and communications scope. The two independent glass curtainwalls enclose translucent adjustable vanes of glass: by day these can regulate the amount of sunlight coming into display areas as an adjunct to inside blinds; by night they form a giant screen on which the new media of contemporary art may be projected.
The various exhibition levels, connected by a side staircase, are flexibly arranged through a system of mobile partitions. The top floor enjoys views of the town and the ring of mountains above it.
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