Visitors enter the Exhibition Building of the Essl Collection
through an entrance pavilion in the southern part of the building. Through the
entrance hall and the light-flooded stair hall that extends freely over all five
storeys one reaches the first floor with its inner courtyard with a lawn and water
basin. This floor contains the lobby, the entrance to the two-storey library,
the galleries and the exhibition hall.
Click to enlarge
Video by Georg Riha (double-click to enlarge)
On the mezzanine
floor, next door to the caretaker's flat, is a spacious studio that is used for
the numerous events and activities of the educational program connected with the
collection. Here children will be able to paint, and workshops and many other
events will be held.
The Art Storage Rooms
The six large storage rooms on the ground floor with a total floor space of 2,500
sq. meters are supplemented by the necessary additional rooms devoted to conservation,
workshops, technical equipment and the administration of the artworks in the storage
rooms. There is also a large covered courtyard with a delivery bay, and the storage
and exhibition areas are connected by a goods lift.
The seven galleries which are located on the west side
contain the permanent display of the Essl Collection. They each have different
dimensions and are lit through their three meter high skylights.
The east-facing Exhibition Hall receives its daylight
from the windows along one side and is visually linked to the corridor on the
floor below that leads to the art storage rooms. The Rotunda connects the Exhibition
Hall with the "Large Hall" on the floor above. The Exhibition Hall is equipped
with permanent partition walls and is used for temporary exhibitions. Adjacent
to it is the so-called Lecture Hall, where lectures, special events and music
performances are held.
The Rotunda connects the Exhibition Hall with the Large
Hall. It has been intentionally left empty and is filled only with the sounds
of periodically changed specifically conceived sound installations by various
Currently, holdings comprise approximately 20,000 media featuring the art scene
of the 20th and 21st centuries, with the following areas of emphasis: numerous
monographs on artists whose works are part of the Essl Collection as well as books
and catalogues on Australian aboriginal art. Our visitors are warmly invited to
browse through the study material on ongoing exhibitions available on closed reserve
and through our own publications.
The "Large Hall", where the sculptures and installations
of the collection are displayed, is lit by windows along one side as well as by
skylights. The hall is covered by an 800 sq. meter roof that is shaped like a
wave. Adjacent to the "Large Hall" are the Café and the Bookshop.
The Café is located on the second floor of the
building next to the "Large Hall" and is optically connected with the latter by
a large glass wall designed by the artist Eva
Schlegel. In addition, the Café has a large southwest-facing terrace
from which a ramp and a flight of stairs lead into the lawn-covered courtyard.
is located next to the Café. The selection of books offered focuses on
the artists represented in the Collection but also includes 20th century art in
general, Vienna and its surroundings, post cards, posters and a small selection
Situated approximately 600 m from the Essl Museum, the SCHÖMER-HAUS is just
a few minutes’ walk away. It is the company headquarters of the baumax /
Schömer group and provides extra exhibition space for the Essl Museum.
Entry is free (OPENING HOURS >>).
The SCHÖMER-HAUS was built by Heinz
Tesar. Apart from its main function as the office building of the Schömer-bauMax-Corporate
Group it serves as an exhibition hall for the Essl collection and as a concert
hall. The concert series, Music at the Schömer-Haus, has been curated by
the composer KARLHEINZ ESSL
since 1992. About four times a year, the building is transformed into a venue
for exceptional musical events, where primarily New Music is presented with all
its radical, unconventional facets.
The open architecture of the SCHÖMER-HAUS differs fundamentally from
that of traditional concert halls with their picture frame stages and the resulting
spatial separation between musicians and audience. At the SCHÖMER-HAUS there
is no stage and no permanent dais. The audience finds itself at the fulcrum of
the sounds, as the musicians can be positioned at the various levels (galleries,
staircase and hall) throughout the building. Hence, the available space can be
experienced as a new musical dimension – which is something rarely achieved
in conventional concert halls.
The SCHÖMER-HAUS concert programmes are attuned to this particular situation.
Since in this day and age spatial aspects constitute an essential artistic factor,
most of the compositions performed here address this complex phenomenon. Aesthetic
criteria alone are not the pivotal factors, equal importance being attributed
to artistic quality and innovative potential. It may not even be vital for what
is NEW to have been created in our century – what was innovative in days
gone by, but is nevertheless unknown today (such as music from the Middle Ages)
may be juxtaposed with new works composed in recent years.
VIDEO: Karlheinz Stockhausen's WACH at the SCHÖMER-HAUS