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Open-Air Museum Visitor Centre

Restrained, self-reliant and with an identity-giving aura, the new building stands on a sliver of flat land atop a plateau. The design adopts the local theme of the “house in the forest clearing”, which is carefully oriented for visual connections and to define exterior space. The appearance of the new visitor center for historical building culture is derived from the archaic house form and evokes familiar memories of the practice of anonymous building. Only through its defining longitudinal emphasis and format is it transformed into a visitor centre typology. The concept interprets farmyard typologies and floor plans from around the rural Salzburg building landscape, but deliberately does not compete with the predominantly two-storey exhibits in the museum grounds. Rather, it carries itself quietly yet independently, self-confidently but integrative. The assembly of single-storey flat and long building forms ending in a gable roof seems self-evident and appropriate to both its content and contemporary expression. The result is easily recognisable, with superregional appeal. Linear and open, the new structure is formally in an exciting dialogue with the strongly vertical emphasis of the tree trunks in its woodland setting. All functions are combined on one level under a large common roof, which has the appearance of a collecting vessel or a large covered outdoor area – an inviting effect as you approach. It houses a large open space, a continuum in which the visitor experiences the entire dimension of the spatial structure, a large central hall with an unambiguous entrance situation and visual relationships via a panoramic opening to the museum area. The new structure is not a building with an integrated hub, but the visitor centre is designed as an open house. The surroundings include a new multifunctional space in the east which are conceived as a sheltered place to dwell. The new center builds on the high-quality building tradition and architecturally sets a new benchmark, which showcases wood in its various forms as a construction material, presenting it as a futureproof building material demanding high-quality craftsmanship.

Design Team: Andreas Cukrowicz, Anton Nachbaur-Sturm, Stefan Prattes, Gregor Benz, Aline Messmer, Florian Medicus, Paulus Cukrowicz with Merz Kley Partner ZT GmbH Dornbirn
Project Team: Stefan Prattes, Gregor Benz, Andreas Cukrowicz, Anton Nachbaur-Sturm mit Dacuna Planungs GmbH / Florian Medicus, Salzburg
Client: Land Salzburg / Salzburger Open-Air Museum Großgmain
Competition 2019 1st Prize, Construction 2020-21