Cultural Centre Weiz

The community lacked an adequate meeting hall. Through the erection of a new fire station at the edge of Weiz, a site at the heart of the town became available directly opposite the headquarters of the local industrial giant. The location is marked by small, two-storey baroque and 19th century buildings, the street grid and the squares of the immediately adjoining old town are essentially mediaeval. The response to this situation is subtle and intelligent. The core of the public hall is situated at the centre. Even seen from a distance it emerges at roof level as a "hard" cubic volume. Around this functional and semantic centre are positioned the buffer zones of the foyer, the exhibition spaces and the open spaces, while at an appropriate distance (the width of a lane) is placed an additional office building.
The dimensions of the new building are integrated and translated into this historic urban mesh by modelling from this mass of "soft" elements. This is most strikingly shown at the side elevation of the building. Here the building lines a newly created small side street on the opposite side of which Feichtinger has erected an attractive office building that in turn absorbs the impetus of the impinging small town microstructure at its rear and channels this energy into the new side street through an opening in an otherwise hermetic façade. On the other side of the street, on the facade of the Kunsthaus, the dominant motif is that of a "wave" that formulates the change in height from the two-storey neighbouring buildings at the rear to the imposing three-storey ELIN building opposite the front of the Kunsthaus and makes it an aesthetic theme at cornice level. All these mediating elements of the building are made of glass, while the "massive" parts on the west side of the building are clad in copper.
The interior of this building with its continuous full-height glazing; its generously broad foyer; its glowing bar at first floor level running around the central events hall (capacity 645); and its attached exhibition areas speaks a nonchalant language that employs precision. The entire ground floor is reserved for a supermarket that is intended to attract numbers of visitors who will also animate the old town centre. For this reason the large hall is positioned above the supermarket and is directly reached from the side street by a staircase (plus a lift). On the basement levels there are car parking spaces.
The hall itself, equipped with a stage, a gallery and a high-tech booth, offers above all an aesthetic experience. The black walls are additionally covered with a metal mesh that can be illuminated in different colours by light diodes.