Vienna, 3rd District
GMMK  Gert M. MAYR-KEBER ZT-GmbH Belvedere Extension 2006 city image by bing

The Belvedere

The Belvedere, composed of the Upper and the Lower palace and the park, is one of Europe's most important baroque ensembles. Positioned on top of a knowe, the Upper Belvedere is shaping the cityscape.

In 1781 the Belvedere was converted into a gallery and opened to the public. By now though, since the collection is constantly growing, the spacial conditions are reaching their limits, resulting in several places, with different exhibitions: Upper and Lower Belvedere, Atelier Augarten and the 21er Haus. Exposing big shows is difficult.

An extension and the reorganisation of the Upper Belvedere could cope with the now existing limitations and strengthen Belvedere's identity of an historic place and significant museum.


Gaining space in a baroque surrounding

The big basin is one of the baroque park's special features, appearing as a mirror that doubles the Palace's size through reflection.

This suggestion for an extension gives life to this illusion, by placing an additional gallery space right underneath the water surface.

The project deals with this basic baroque concept, and makes out the most of it by using the technical possibilities of the 21st century and transforming an old idea into a contemporary solution.

The basin functions as a skylight measuring 4.500 squaremeters, held by a steel-glass-construction, which assembles the idea of a baroque polished diamond, transform the shape of the basin into three-dimensionality, tappering compression to the bottom.

The steel-construction is coated with a second glass skin, filtering the daylight and providing a second security layer.

A two storey exhibition hall is programmed around this construction, designed with the historic outlines of the basin. The upper floor is recessed, so it functions like a balcony, giving view to the lower floor, and making a direct view to the sky possible from there too.

The ground plan is open, using flexible walls, creating a space with the feeling of vastness and openness in an underground room.


Providing the infrastructure as a scenic pathway

Accessible through the Sala Terrena, the entrance hall of the Upper Belvedere, the visitor is led on a ramp through parts of Belvedere's bunker that was created in World War II, coming to the entry of the extension that immediately provides sight to the sky and the water basin. Stairs and escalators, as well as lifts make the space easily accessible.

On the sides archives, technical rooms, sanitary rooms and emergency exits are located. A Hoist for delivery is placed on the west side, which leads directly to the frontage road besides the utility buildings on the ground floor. The installments for the airconditioning are hidden behind the bushes of the park.

Static construction: Prof. DI. H. Kugler

Art works used for renderings by: Ona B, Manfred Erjautz, Brigitte Kowanz, Hannes Mlenek, Julian Taupe, Johanna Mayr-Keber