100 × Steiermark – History Museum
best architects 19
Graz / Austria
The project for the History Museum in Graz included designing the ground floor entrance and the permanent exhibition in Palais Herberstein, a historic building in the city centre. For the inner courtyard, which was formerly barely visible, an iron «carpet» was custom-made to guide visitors across the historical stone floor and create a platform for discovery. The entrance vault is now enlivened by a light installation by the renowned artist Brigitte Kowanz.
The permanent exhibition 100 × Steiermark is an artistic-spatial intervention that presents one hundred objects from one hundred episodes from the last thousand years of the history of the Austrian province of Styria. For the splendid state rooms on the second floor of the palace, a space-reflecting concept was implemented using exclusively glass elements, some of them mirrored. Based on the idea of «setting the table for history», this installation reflects the historical use of the rooms while at the same time serving as a framework for displaying exhibits. The precisely proportioned compositions of glass, mirrors and light provide a floating stage for the diverse items that generates various viewing angles. The holistic experience is a metaphorical and formal reflection of space, time and existence that blurs the boundaries between exhibition and visitor. Space, furniture, object and viewer flow into each other and become part of the exhibition while asking: «What is coming? and What remains?»