Josephine Hugo & Lucie Deguelle

Josephine Hugo & Lucie Deguelle

RECONVERSION OF A CONVENT IN VIENNA. ULG Liège (Belgium)

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The Armenisches Kulturzentrum is the outcome of the reconversion of a 19th century Armenian convent in the heart of Vienna's Museumsquartier. This district is one of the most important in the city, as it is one of the largest cultural districts in the world, with more than 60 museum institutions spread over 90,000 m². The block is located along the Ringstraße, the 5.3km long avenue that surrounds Vienna's historic centre. It is a place which, although underdeveloped and fragmented, has great attraction due to its strategic position and the Weghuberpark at the back of the monastery courtyard.

Like a Viennese gloriette facing the Ministry of Justice, the new pavilion in the middle of the park is dedicated to the museum, its cafeteria and shop, while the existing wing is converted into work spaces. The pavilion and its underground passageway act as a unifying elements between the public park and the northern wing of the convent on the other side of the wall.

A key element of the concept was to clarify the different sequences of the public space. Thus, the block was closed off as it was the case back in the 1960s. Dense vegetation was planted on the former Palace tracks to re-establish this symbolic barrier. The aim is also to make the Armenisches Kulturzentrum an attractive cultural place with a looped and defined museum tour, in order to make the subject of Armenology attractive and accessible to everyone.

Between the new pavilion and the restoration of the existing monastery wing, significant elements of the site's history are integrated, creating a dialogue between the new and the old, such as the wall of the former Capuchin monastery on which the convent of the Mekhitarist Friars was built or the roof structure that now houses the museum exhibition.  

 

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