Messner Mountain Museum Corones (MMM Corones)

Messner Mountain Museum Corones (MMM Corones)

Museums
Kronplatz, South Tyrol, Italy - Build completed in 2014
GiraKNX system in the Messner Mountain Museum Corones

story by Gira

KNX system in the Messner Mountain Museum Corones
KNX system in the Messner Mountain Museum Corones
Gira as Manufacturers
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© Hufton+Crow

Messner Mountain Museum Corones (MMM Corones)

Zaha Hadid Architects as Architects

Established by renowned climber Reinhold Messner, the sixth and final Messner Mountain Museum explores the traditions, history and discipline of mountaineering. Informed by the shards of rock and ice of the surrounding landscape, concrete canopies have been cast in-situ and rise from the ground to protect the museum’s entrance, viewing windows and terrace. Reflecting the lighter colours and tones of the jagged limestone peaks of the surrounding Dolomites, the exterior panels are formed from a lighter shade of glass-reinforced fibre concrete and fold within the museum to meet the darker interior panels that have the luster and colouration of anthracite found deep below the surface.


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Embedded within the summit of Mount Kronplatz, 2,275m above sea level at the centre South Tyrol’s most popular ski resort, the Messner Mountain Museum Corones is surrounded by the alpine peaks of the Zillertal, Ortler and Dolomites. Established by renowned climber Reinhold Messner, the sixth and final Messner Mountain Museum explores the traditions, history and discipline of mountaineering.


Messner, the first person to climb all 14 mountains around the world over 8,000 meters, and the first to climb Mount Everest without the aid of tanked oxygen, conveys his vision for the MMM Corones: “Kronplatz offers views beyond the borders of South Tyrol to all points of the compass: from the Lienz Dolomites in the east to the Ortler in the west, from the Marmolada Glacier in the south to the Zillertal Alps in the north. The museum is a mirror of the world of my childhood - the Geislerspitzen, the central buttress of the Heiligkreuzkofel (the most difficult climb in my whole life) and the glaciated granite mountains of the Ahrn Valley. On Kronplatz I present the development of modern mountaineering and 250 years of progress with regard to the equipment. I speak of triumphs and tragedies on the world’s most famous peaks – the Matterhorn, Cerro Torre, K2, and shed light on alpinism with the help of relics, thoughts, works of art and by reflecting the outside mountain backcloth in the interior of MMM Corones.”


Zaha Hadid explains the concept of the design: “The idea is that visitors can descend within the mountain to explore its caverns and grottos, before emerging through the mountain wall on the other side, out onto the terrace overhanging the valley far below with spectacular, panoramic views.” In 2003, the Concordia 2000 Peace Bell was the first cultural installation to join the sports and recreational amenities at the summit of Mount Kronplatz, which include facilities for hang-gliding and paragliding, the Kron and Gipfel Restaurants, a replica of a Native American settlement, as well as the summit stations of the Kronplatz 2000 cable-car to Riscone/Reischach, the Olang cablecar to Valdaora, and the Ruis cable-car to San Vigilio. The Mountain Museum will welcome visitors throughout the year to explore Messner’s world where humanity is pushed to its limits, adding a further cultural and educational institution to Mount Kronplatz.


Reinhold Messner’s vision for a museum of submerged into the peak of Mount Kronplatz detailed three very specific locations of where the museum should emerge from ground: “In the first, a window looking out southwest to the peak of the Peitlerkofel mountain, in the second, another window should look south toward the Heiligkreuzkofel peak, in the third, a balcony should face west to the Ortler and South Tyrol.” Informed by the shards of rock and ice of the surrounding landscape, concrete canopies have been cast in-situ and rise from the ground to protect the museum’s entrance, viewing windows and terrace. Reflecting the lighter colours and tones of the jagged limestone peaks of the surrounding Dolomites, the exterior panels are formed from a lighter shade of glass-reinforced fibre concrete and fold within the museum to meet the darker interior panels that have the luster and colouration of anthracite found deep below the surface.


A series of staircases, like waterfalls in a mountain stream, cascade through the museum to connect the exhibition spaces and describe visitors’ circulation over three levels. At the lowest level, visitors pass the viewing windows as they traverse through the galleries to emerge out onto the terrace that projects 6m from the mountainside giving a 240 degree panorama across the Alps. At 1,000 square meters, the museum is arranged over several levels to reduce its footprint. During construction, 4,000 cubic meters (140,000 cubic feet) of earth and rock was excavated and then replaced above and around the completed structure - immersing the museum within Mount Kronplatz and helping to maintain a more constant internal temperature. The wide windows allow natural light to penetrate deep within the museum, drawing visitors forward through the interior to the panoramic windows and viewing terrace cantilevered over the valley far below. Constructed from in-situ reinforced concrete, the museum‘s structure has walls between 40-50cm, while its roof supporting the replaced earth and rock that embeds the museum into the mountain, is up to 70cm thick.


The majority of the museum’s exterior and interior panels are also made from in-situ concrete, with a formwork of tapered surfaces used to generate the peaks and abutments of the exterior panels that convey the rock and ice formations of the surrounding landscape. Almost 400 internal and external panels were prefabricated, with the more complex curved elements created in a process of spraying layers of high-performance fibre-concrete into moulds carved from CNC-milled foam using the architect‘s 3D model. A scaffold of steel sections with adjustable brackets to offset tolerances forms the museum’s substructure. Counter-plates for the connecting brackets are laminated directly within each panel during the prefabrication process.


KNX system in the Messner Mountain Museum Corones

Gira as Manufacturers

A celebration of mountaineering, the Messner Mountain Museum is an example of an intelligent lighting strategy at 2,275 meters above sea level. A highly fluid architectural design, dark in-situ concrete dominates. A total of 110 lights and long, LED lighting strips, which follow the curved line of the roof downwards, serve to highlight the exhibits. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, all the light sources are connected in a KNX system with a Gira HomeServer as its intelligent central control unit.


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Intelligent lighting at 2,275 metres above sea level


The Kronplatz mountain in South Tyrol is home to the sixth and latest Messner Mountain Museum. Designed by Zaha Hadid, the building nestles near the edge of the summit plateau, only four openings protruding from it like telescopes. One of the openings is the museum's entrance while the large windows of the others offer unique views of the surrounding mountains. The fluid design of Zaha Hadid continues on the inside, flowing from the entrance to the panoramic windows situated on a lower level. Dark grey in-situ concrete dominates the building that is constructed mostly underground, the corridors resembling the twists and turns of a mountain path or a cave. The flush-mounted Gira E22 stainless steel switch range harmonises well with the rough ambiance.


The museum is dedicated to traditional mountaineering, the supreme discipline of alpinism. Among the exhibits are crampons, climbing shoes and paintings, while a small cinema has a documentary on show. A total of 110 lights and long, LED lighting strips, which follow the curved line of the roof downwards, serve to highlight the exhibits. To ensure that everything runs smoothly, all the light sources are connected in a KNX system with a Gira HomeServer as its intelligent central control unit.


Both the project planning and tender process for the building technology were handled by Georg Mutschlechner's Studio GM in St. Vigil, and the technology was later installed by the Bruneck-based company Elpo. Around 65 classic spotlights, 45 recessed and surface mounted LED spotlights as well as 330 metres of LED lighting strips are integrated into a DALI Gateway, making them individually dimmable. As a result, the lighting can be adjusted precisely to the current exhibition, enabling the staff to activate the setting at the push of a button. In the event of alterations or additional exhibits, the light scene can easily be changed and saved via remote access or by a technician on site.


A second scene - "Cleaning light" - sets the lights to full brightness for cleaning and maintenance work. When the staff arrive in the morning, they can first turn on the lighting in full by pressing a button on the Gira Control 9 Client's touch panel in the entrance area. When the museum opens to the public around one hour later, an employee simply activates the "Museum operations" scene. The Gira Control 9 Client also shows whether heating and ventilation are running and displays the current temperatures inside the museum.


During opening hours the lights are activated throughout the building. Following public access, the Gira automatic control switches register if people are present and switch on the lights only where needed. The small cinema shows a film that can either be started from the Gira interface behind the till or, during events, via a push button sensor in the cinema itself. Normally a documentary is screened on a continuous loop, but it is also possible to start several films one after another. When a film is started, the lighting is dimmed accordingly.


The call system in the disabled toilets was also implemented using the same Gira E22 switch range. In case of an emergency, a call can be placed via the Gira wireless emergency set which registers on the touchpad behind the till. In addition, a red signal light in front of the toilet signals the emergency call. Other alarms, e.g. for heating, ventilation or RCD protection, are also displayed and redirected straight to the electrical company after hours. Especially practical for the staff: at the end of the day the whole museum can be switched off with just one click – the lights are switched off everywhere and the projector in the cinema is turned off.


MMM Corones - Traditional alpinism: permanent exhibition

iPM Engineering as Engineers

Dominated by fluid organic shapes, the structural backbone of museum is made of reinforced concrete (classification C 30/37) which holds up a steel framework. The framework is necessary to mount the interior and exterior cladding panels. Thanks to 3d modeling software, the organically shaped panels were created with absolute precision. The panels have been produced by mortising huge polystyrene blocks using high performance CNC tools to have the formworks. Then in a stratified compostion the formworks have been filled with carbon fiber layers, concrete and an aluminum frame. The result are extremely slim panels with breath taking surfaces and shapes.


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The primary target of the architectural project was to have a fusion of high alpine environment and the new museum using fluent and organic shapes.


To achieve that visual goal a huge number of walls and floors has been inserted obliquely to follow better the landscape and create a breath taking interior. The complexity of the design caused some real challenging structural and manufacturing issue. The decision to commission the structural engineering and the construction management to the iPM team, based only a view km from the construction site, had the huge benefit to cut off the decision taking time and troubleshooting went on really fast.


Don't forget that the construction site is located on the peak of the Kronplatz mountain (a renowned ski resort in South Tyrol) with really challenging weather conditions and snowfall even in the summer months. To better understand the difficulties of the logistics consider that the ready- mix concrete trucks needed 2 hours for every single ride to get from the plant to the construction site on the peak of the Kronplatz mountain.


The structural backbone of museum is made of reinforced concrete (classification C 30/37) witch holds up a steel framework. The framework is necessary to mount the interior and exterior cladding panels.


The top floors have a structural layout to carry the weight of 7 meters of stones and earth witch covers up the entire building.


It was necessary to reduce the self-weight of the top floors, so the iPM engineers inserted COBIAX ® elements into the floor structure, so it was possible to cut off heavily the number of truck rides needed for the concrete delivery.


There is no doubt that the interior and exterior cladding panels are the most complex and most exciting element of the entire project. Only thanks to the massive use of 3D modeling software and real time sharing of all information between designer and producer it was possible reach the accuracy requested by project. The panels have been produced by mortising huge polystyrene blocks using high performance CNC tools to have the formworks. Then in a stratified compostion the formworks have been filled with carbon fiber layers, concrete and an aluminum frame. The result are extremely slim panels with breath taking surfaces and shapes.


The hole supply chain has been organized with the "just in time" method because it was to risky to expose the panels (especially the interior ones) to rain and snow. Thanks to its huge experience the iPM team (more than 1.500 projects developed worldwide) has been the ideal executing partner to implement the brave vision of Zaha Hadid Architects.


The entire project has been developed with the strong commitment to use less natural resources by engineering every singe step of the process.


MMM Corones, situated on the summit plateau of Kronplatz (2,275 m), is dedicated to traditional mountaineering, which has strongly influenced – and been strongly influenced by – Reinhold Messner. The museum is devoted to mountain history and also offers unique views of the great mountain walls of the Dolomites and the Alps. At the edge of the most magnificent viewing platform in South Tyrol, in the distinctive museum building created by Zaha Hadid, the view goes beyond the borders of South Tyrol to all points of the compass: from the Lienz Dolomites in the east to the Ortler in the west, from the Marmolada in the south to the Zillertal Alps in the north.


MMM Corones on Kronplatz – between the Gader Valley, Olang and the Puster Valley – is the final act in the Messner Mountain Museum project (which comprises a total of six facilities). On the edge of South Tyrol’s mountain plateau with the most spectacular views, in the unique museum architecture created by Zaha Hadid, I present the crowning of traditional mountaineering.


Kronplatz offers views beyond the borders of South Tyrol to all points of the compass: from the Lienz Dolomites in the east to the Ortler in the west, from the Marmolada in the south to the Zillertal Alps in the north. The museum is a mirror of the world of my childhood - the Geislerspitzen, the central buttress of the Heiligkreuzkofel (the most difficult climb in my whole life) and the glaciated granite mountains of the Ahrn Valley. On Kronplatz I present the development of modern mountaineering and 250 years of progress with regard to the equipment. I speak of triumphs and tragedies on the world’s most famous peaks – the Matterhorn, Cerro Torre, K2 – and the depiction of our activity, however contradictory it may seem. As in my other museums, I shed light on alpinism with the help of relics, thoughts, works of art (pictures and sculptures) and by reflecting the outside mountain backcloth in the interior of MMM Corones.


As the storyteller of traditional mountaineering, it is not my intention to judge or dramatise but simply to condense human experience of a world that is my world, of the 250-year-old contest between man and the mountain. The focus is not on sport and records but on people, on the key contributors to mountaineering, including philosophers and pioneers who had the courage to take the ‘golden step’ from the idea to the deed, disregarding the question “Why?”


“Corones” is the Ladin word for “crown”, like “Krone” in German. And Kronplatz – South Tyrol’s famous mountain for skiers and hikers and a perfect launchpad for hanggliders and paragliders – is now home to the crowning piece of my mountain museum project, a place of quiet where people can slow down and enjoy unforgettable views. It is a place of withdrawal that opens up the human senses for the above and beyond, where the mountains become an experiential space and a part of our culture. In mental flights beyond all summits, they are revealed anew.


History & architecture


Threesome


The view from Kronplatz is one of the most beautiful in the Alps: from the Dolomites over the Puster Valley to the Zillertal Alps. The mountain also stands at the meeting point of the three South Tyrolean cultures – German, Ladin and Italian. In winter Kronplatz is South Tyrol’s most popular ski destination; in summer, however, it attracts only a few tourists. The idea of a viewing platform was born as a way to revitalise the plateau in the warmer months and ensure a more sustainable use of the lifts.


Reinhold Messner heard of this idea, and proposed a cultural revaluation: a place of quiet, a place to slow down, a refuge and a realm of experience as an antidote to the existing “sporting hype”. A museum devoted to traditional alpinism, as the coronation (corones in Ladin means “crown”) of his museum structure. The Skirama Kronplatz not only immediately agreed, but was also able to persuade no less than the architectural studio of Zaha Hadid to take on the project. South Tyrol’s famous mountain for skiers and hikers – also a perfect launch pad for hanggliders and paragliders – thus became a museum mountain.


Spectacular architecture


The first structure built to parametric standards in South Tyrol therefore stands on a mountain peak. Hadid was known for her free-form architecture, based on digital design techniques. Nature and environment play a decisive role, with the architectural forms seeming to blend into the surroundings. This is why concrete was chosen as the material for the exterior and the interior cladding, as no other material lends itself so well to casting in so many forms. It also best fits the topic of rock, both as regards look and feel. The colour of the concrete and the building itself – for the most part built underground in order to intrude as little as possible upon the landscape and to avoid further construction on the peak – fit naturally into the surrounding mountain landscape.

Messner Mountain Museum Corones

Rockfon as Manufacturers

Not wanting to compromise on their vision for a monolithic design, the architects choose ROCKFON® Mono® Acoustic because it matched the character of the mountain and brought acoustics to hard surfaces. In total, over 350m² of ROCKFON Mono Acoustic allowed the designers to realize the artistic concept and beat the acoustic challenges associated with producing monolithic architecture.


More from the Manufacturer:


MMM Corones is the latest and final addition to the Messner Mountain Museum and sits at the summit plateau of Kronplatz in the Dolomites. Built into the mountain, this extraordinary museum is dedicated to the story of traditional mountaineers that wrote alpine history.


Designed by world renowned architect Zaha Hadid and Peter Irmscher, Corones remains true to its natural habitat, the rock, and seamlessly transitions into the mountain, respecting the landscape.


One with the mountain


Inspired by the mountain, lead designer, Mr. Irmscher brought the exterior ruggedness to the interior of the museum, providing visual continuity. “Yes – the project was entirely coordinated to match the outside with the interior” say Irmscher.


A hot spot for avid skiers and hikers, acoustic control was high on the architect’s agenda - “We knew that guests will visit the museum with ski equipment, creating a lot of noise” say Irmscher. To counter concern, an acoustic engineer was part of the project, ensuring that MMM Corones would be a quiet place.


Softening surfaces


Not wanting to compromise on their vision for a monolithic design, the architects choose ROCKFON® Mono® Acoustic because it matched perfectly with the character of the mountain and brought acoustics to hard surfaces. “Trend in today’s architecture is on raw material and uniform surfaces. ROCKFON Mono Acoustic fits with this trend and the ability to design with acoustics” says Irmscher.


Happy with the finished results, over 350m² of ROCKFON Mono Acoustic allowed the designer to realize the artistic concept and beat the acoustic challenge of monolithic architecture.

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