Ars Electronica Center, Linz
Linz, the 2009 European Capital of Culture, has been enriched with a new space entirely dedicated to computer arts. A complex architecture and 5100 m2 faced covered with LEDs.
A culture space to develop new procedures for the process of design, production and representation, the Ars Electronica centre has the most important archive of computer art over the last 25 years. Particularly on biotechnology, robotics, the future of design or the material of the Ars Electronica festival catalogues, founded in 1979 to underline the emerging computer revolution. A new wing has just been created next to the first building opened in 1996 to give a useable area of 6500 m2. Generously sized, the exhibition spaces are located under the esplanade. This museum of the future now has a hall on two floors connecting the old and new parts of the museum. The extension is divided into three sectors: a main building in several floors, immediately next to the existing AEC, exhibition areas on the underground level, an open multifunctional area connected by a flight of stairs to the Ars Electronica Futurelab.
On the town planning level, the concept is based on the principle of dialogue with the environment to maintain a free view over the Danube and to try to preserve the historical town fabric. The guiding idea of the project was to include an architectural sculpture so that the two edifices are seen as a homogenous unit. To do this, the architects have united them in a structural steel and glass "shell." Everything seems askew. The different elements seem to separate and join at the same time. The structure is constantly unveiling new forms according to the viewpoint.
Surfaces, part in transparent and part in mat glass, can be back lit in the interstice between the wall and the shell. The structure is spectacular at night. The 5000 m2 façade is built with 1100 high power LED light bands (red, green, blue and white). Each of the 4400 channels is individually accessible and can be regulated between 0 and 100%. The result is striking, an echo of the architectural opposites of the Lentos museum of modern art, on the opposite bank of the river. This daring architectural relationship represents the culminating point of the Linz urban landscape.