Cook & Hawley

Hollitzer Baustoffwerke and Lower Austrian Government.

Klaus Bollinger, Bollinger Groman

Designed: 1993

Gross Area:
2000 m sq

Awarded First Prize

The Carnuntum Museum at Bad-Deutsch Altenburg in Lower Austria was the focus of an international competition that required a strategic concept to be developed for the Archaeological Park of Carnuntum. The area is one of particular historic significance in that it has the archeological site of one of the largest and most important Roman military encampments in Europe. The initial strategy proposes a series of lay lines be taken from the museum site to significant points in the landscape. On some occasions the lay lines are visual, on others the line of an existing path. The Roman Tumulus, the church, a point in the landscape offering the widest view, an area of natural embankment, and a flat plateau were chosen as locators for the architectural pieces. The sequence that starts and returns to the museum is carefully planned as a walk through the landscape. The architectural elements serve to give different aspects, information and experience of the area. The Pavilion is a simple enclosure sited on a natural plateau in the landscape. It is designed as an exhibition space and as such has significant areas externally visible when the building is closed. The building reiterates the formal language established by the museum with subtle variations. A partly excavated exhibition area is covered by a glass roof, which externally is seen as a continuation of the landscape. The visitor may wander through the building, the excavated exhibition chamber, and back into the landscape; or walk over the glass (roof) landscape and look down on the exhibition. The open air theatre is sited in a natural topological depression and with very simple components allows local festival and theatre to be performed against the backdrop of the landscape and the town. The Belvedere, like the Pavilion, and the open air theatre utilises the formal language of the museum, it is diminished in scale and is tilted to establish a wholly different relationship to the user, nonetheless it is the last visual reminder of what has been before. It provides a moment to pause and to survey not only the archaeological park but also the geography beyond Austria.