Exhibition halls 9-12 Dornbirn
best architects 19
Dornbirn / Austria
The new exhibition halls 9–12 are characterised by power and restraint. The brothers Bernhard and Stefan Marte score points with their enormous emblematic structure – four exhibition halls are combined into one gigantic, monolithic building in solid black with a striped texture, measuring 170 meters long, nearly 70 meters wide and 16.5 meters high. The volume is divided into four segments, with access afforded through elliptical incisions, courtyards and foyers in deep, rich carmine.
The backbone of the building is the interior circulation axis – room-high glazed openings guide visitors from the main entrance through the series of exhibition halls – red, black, red, black. As impressive as the elliptical, hyperbolic incisions in the two long sides of the building are, the colour scheme of the giant is just as powerful and vivid. Both colours are represented equally, like heraldic tinctures – pure tones without shading, gradients or nuances remind one of flags and banners. The sheer dimensions and imposing presence of the exhibition halls leave a lasting impression. Black in black. Function in construction. The inviting, spectacular foyer between the two halls is painted entirely in red, and the horizontal ellipsoid at the entrance is mirrored in the five elliptical arches of the load-bearing concrete slab, forming arcades. The entrance hall #12 as well as the restrooms and staircases are also painted in deep rich carmine.