BWM Architekten redesigned the Bundestheater Holding’s visitor centre in Vienna’s State Opera as a representative space that aims to be a meeting place for the city’s music world, while dissolving the boundaries between high culture and urban living.
As the competition winners, BWM Architekten developed an open concept for a versatile, forward-looking visitor centre in the opera house. A 20m-long table along the central axis of the hall provides structure for the various functions: during the day, the main focus is on ticket sales, service and information; as the evening closes in, the space transforms like a stage and becomes a meeting spot where the local culture and music scene can socialise. Whether day or night, it is a welcoming place for all visitors.
A tribute to its history.
Working in a building of such cultural significance is not only an absolute joy, but also a great honour, says BWM architect Johann Moser. “And because visiting the opera is not something you do every day,” he adds, “we wanted to create a design that does justice to the special nature of the occasion.” BWM’s design is mindful of the original architecture dating back to the latter part of the 19th century and also takes into account the 1950s-style alterations made by architect Erich Boltenstern during the building’s reconstruction after World War II.
As versatile as a stage.
The new visitor centre was designed to be a representative space that transforms as the day goes on. “Because there are no partitions, the space is now perceived as a whole – you get a good sense of its height and width,” BWM project manager Ingrid Schmid explains. The central element is a table, almost 20m in length, along the central axis that is used for ticket sales, information and the shop during the day, and transforms into a bar slash community table in the evening. “Because ticket sales are largely handled online nowadays, we wanted to keep the functionality of the counter flexible and as multifunctional as possible for future usages,” says Johann Moser.
New design for a 300m2 visitor centre in Vienna’s State Opera
Bundestheater Holding GesmbH
Erich Bernard, Johann Moser, Ingrid Schmid, Hubert Meyer, Massimiliano Marian, Kinga Baluch, Daniela Dollack, Elena Atanassova
BWM Architekten/ Severin Wurnig
BWM Architekten/ Renee del Missier
Construction management & supervision
ART for ART Theaterservice GmbH
Models / VR visualisations