Gutenberg Museum, 3rd prize

The central location of this unique museum, which is named after the inventor of the movable-type printing press and is an institution of international renown, poses high demands on the design. This relatively large project was to be harmoniously integrated into the finely structured urban fabric of the old town surrounding the cathedral. The old building known as the »Römischer Kaiser« (Roman Emperor), a protected historic monument, was to be incorporated as part of the museum, but was to remain unimpaired as best as possible. An annex from the 1990s on the other side of Seilergasse, a small alleyway, was to be retained, while the boxy main building from the 1970s was to be demolished.


Our design preserves the »Römischer Kaiser« as a freestanding building and connects to it only beneath the ground, with a subterranean level that also features a lecture hall lit from above. An attractive public space that spans between the cathedral square and Rotekopfgasse and accommodates the main entrance is created between the new building and the landmarked old building. The new building joins with the 1990s annex to form a functionally continuous volume whose upper floors span over Seilergasse. The new building is articulated in strip-like segments that are slightly offset and adopt the scale of the old town. The edifice, clad in red variegated sandstone, blends visually into its surroundings but does not ingratiate itself with pitched roof forms, remaining abstract instead. It is interrupted by individual large openings at ground level and the upper southeast corner, while homogeneity is maintained elsewhere by means of perforation. The projections and recesses also articulate the interior spaces in both plan and section. Floor openings in various places and the central staircase create vertical connections between the floor levels that visitors can experience.


10 2022 / 3rd prize
Model: Béla Berec