©MORPHtopia 2018




IST Visitor Center
LOCATION      Klosterneuburg, Austria
PROGRAM      Visitor Center and Science Center
YEAR             2018
STATUS         Competition. Honorable Mention
CLIENT          IST Austria  - Institute for Science and Technology
COLLAB.        MÄID FutureRetrospectiveNarrative (Derme-Mitterberger)


The new visitor center of the IST Austria Campus is located on the southwest side of the project site, where it acts as a attractor and meeting point for all non-institute members. The building, which is located on Campusstraße, joins the main axis of the campus and it is in dialogue with the Lab4 opposite building. On the other side, the project fits into the existing park landscape. Architecturally, the new visitor center emphasizes the diversity of the campus and adds an independent spatial articulation to the urban ensemble.

The main focus of the design is on the relationship between above-ground pavilion-like building component and the subterranean building parts. The inspiration for the design sprang from the spatial and geometric arrangements of a tree structure. Series of cuts within the landscape and in the building create visual links and synergies between the Welcome Area (above ground) and the seminar / workshop / exhibition areas (underground). The outdoor area and the structure are understood as a continuous unit, which flow into one another configurating the nature of space and aesthetics. The ground floor is visually composed of a solid concrete core and a light glass envelope. The solid concrete core / trunk houses the administrative functions, the vertical access system, the lift core and the structural support system for the cantilevered roof. The flexible Welcome Area gives the visitors the feeling under a canopy / treetop and allows for an adaptable use for official occasions / receptions as well as daily uses. The height of the room and the architectural articulation of the Welcome area are intended to captivate visitors and invite them to linger and explore the seminar room, workshops and exhibition space. Furthermore, the large room height allows the suspension of space and engineering installations (e.g., robotic arms, live demos). In the mezzanine (level 1) there is a quiet and reading area and a café. Visitors have the feeling of sitting above the branches with an overview of the activities in the ground floor area and the park. The basement is considered as a continuation of the tribe, as its roots, and includes the main functions of the Science Center, Seminar, Workshop and Warehouse. The Science Center is conceived as an open exhibition space, which can offer different spatial arrangements and atmospheres depending on requirements by attaching room dividers from the grid in the ceiling. Large skylights visually link the exhibition space with the park and allow random passers-by to take a look inside the building. These skylights blend into the park as sculptural elements, linking the works of art in the park as another element. The roof garden also houses a Science Playground, the solar system, and acts as a viewing platform for the entire campus at the treetop level relief masses.
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