GIRONCOLI MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORY ART St. Johann/Herberstein


Client: Tier- und Naturpark Schloß Herberstein, St. Johann/Herberstein
Location: Buchberg 2, A-8222 St. Johann/Herberstein
Start of planning: 10/2003
Start of construction: 02/2004
Completion: 09/2004
Exhibition Historical Barn: 1.003 m²
New Exhibition Hall: 880 m²
Sculpture terrace outdoor: 954 m²
Built-in area: 12.199 m³
Cost: 3 Mio Euro

In the planning stage, the approximately 350-year-old threshing house, which was under a preservation order, was contemplated further. After looking at the 30 works by Bruno Gironcoli, it soon became clear that the available threshing house with its approx. 1000 square metres of floor space was too small to exhibit the diversity of the consistently large-scale works: an extension was necessary. The extension with its contemporary glass-steel-plastic construction was chosen for its deliberately clear and reserved formal vocabulary in order to grant the sculptures sufficient free space. It is endowed with all the appropriate museological conditions, such as a uniform incidence of light, air-conditioning and high technical standards.
So the first building stage commenced with the original revitalisation of the threshing house, which was under a preservation order, the removal of fixtures which had been added later, and material-maintaining measures, such as rebuilding the foundations and drying out. A gallery floor was built into the roof framework area. The natural lighting and ventilation now takes place by means of dormers with adjustable glass slats. The historic brick lattice-work was preserved and glazed.
The 520-square-metre new exhibition hall, which is partially buried in the slope, is located in the new north-easterly added-on rectangular building, which has a total area of 880 square metres and lies parallel to the old building. The main entrance with café and shop positioned slightly forward from the main building, sanitary facilities, technical services and administration is situated in the 360-square-metre, lower-lying basement. A media room in the basement is a connecting element between new and old. A self-supporting steel stairway connects the entrance floor to the exhibition floor.
The approximately 1000-square-metre, adjacent, open areas on the historical fortifications are used as sculpture terraces for original casts. A translucent, plastic housing with a UV-reflecting coating was used for the new exhibition hall to avoid overheating in summer.

Photos: Paul Ott, Graz