Graz, Austria 2006-2011



Graz, Austria 2006-2011

The ground surface, the horizontal platform on which most of our movements in the city occur, is very rarely the generating argument or the spatial support of a project. Perhaps as a result of that yearning for an identity, which every new intervention seems to demand, architecture has tended to express itself throughout history by means of objects, volumes that have often established a difficult relationship with the scale of the urban environment in which they were inserted. In contrast, the expansion of the Joanneum Museum emerged from the intention of acting within the strict limits of the horizontal plane of the city, offering a new public space based on an architectural proposal that is paradoxically simple in its depth and complex in its surface.
The Joanneumsviertel of Graz is comprised of three buildings from different periods and with different functions that up to now have had their backs turned toward one another and faced a residual rear courtyard: the Museum of Natural History from the eighteenth century; the Regional Library of Styria; and the New Gallery of Contemporary Art, built at the end of the nineteenth century. Addressing each of these organisms belonging to the same institution, the project emerged from the need to endow the complex with a common means of access, welcoming spaces, a conference hall, reading areas and services, along with a lower level for archives and storage. Instead of giving in to the temptation of developing an iconic intervention, as has often happened in recent museum expansions, however, the project offered a unique opportunity to carry out an at once urban and architectural transformation. Whereas the historic center of Graz is known for its expressive “roofscape,” our proposal developed entirely below ground: we simply defined a new pavement that, like a large carpet, takes up the entire exterior space between the buildings and conceals below ground those spaces housing the required program. This decision acknowledges the value of the existing historical construction -carrying out a renovation that respects their architectural characteristics- and thus acts only selectively in some interior areas, without affecting the original exterior image and volume. The horizontal, continuous surface of the new square is marked by a combined series of conical patios that bring natural light into the underground spaces and house the entrance, the lobby, and the areas shared by the museums and the library, a gathering place from which to reach each of them.
The geometric abstraction implicit in every architectural work appears in the proposal with the boldness of a contemporary installation in the public space, transformed into an apparently random sequence of conical intersections derived from a single, virtual three-dimensional figure. Curved glass surfaces with a continuous silk-screen print filter light toward the interior and, inversely, illuminate the square with artificial light at night. A cultural institution like the Joanneum Museum, on which the Kunsthaus Graz is dependent, thus expresses the changing relationship between art and city. The square that centralizes the access to the museums is an unusual intervention in the urban space: it champions the interaction between the plastic arts and architecture and will incorporate specific installations in collaboration with contemporary artists. The new expansion goes almost unnoticed, concealed beneath the pavement connecting the historical buildings, like a materialization of a perforated horizon that expresses -and not just literally- that the depth of an architectural work can reside, unexpectedly, on its surface.


Graz, Austria 2006-2011

Graz, Austria
Government of Steiermark, Austria
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
      Fuensanta Nieto, Enrique Sobejano
eep architekten
      Gerhard Eder, Christian Egger, Bernd Priesching
Restoration and expansion of existing museum and library
Total floor area
19.515 m2
Project architects
Dirk Landt, Daniel Schilp
Project team
Udo Brunner, Olliver Dullnig, Isabel Espinoza Tratter, Michele Görhardt, Gudrun Michor, Sebastian Sasse, Martina Schaberl, Anja Stachelscheid, Nik Wenzke
Structural engineer
DI. Manfred, Petschnigg ZT
Mechanical engineer          
Pechmann GmbH
Ingenieurbüro für Haustechnik
Electrical planning
Busz GmbH
Fire prevention consultant
Norbert Rabl ZT GmbH
Acustic consultant
Dr. Pfeiler GmbH
Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos
Juan de Dios Hernández - Jesús Rey
Roland Halbe   
Project Date
Competition: 2006
Design: 2008
Completion: 2011


Graz, Austria 2006-2011

Magazine REVISTA DE MUSEOLOGÍA nº 83. 2022
Published by Asociación Española de Museólogos. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1134-0576
Page: Cover, 84 – 85
Magazine LUFTHANSA nº 5. 2019
Published by Deutsche Lufthansa AG. Köln, Germany 
Page: 24           
Monograph TC CUADERNOS nº 131/132. 2017
Published by General de Ediciones de Arquitectura. Valencia, Spain
ISBN: 978-84-947421-4-9 
Page: 228 – 243
Magazine SUMMA + nº 144. 2015
Published by Donn S.A. Buenos Aires, Argentina
ISSN: 0327-9022
Page: Cover, 32 – 41

Magazine L’ARCHITECTURE D’AUJOURD’HUI nº 407. 2015
Published by Archipress & Associés. Montpellier, France
ISBN: 978-2-918832-04-1
Page: 88 – 89

Book BEST OF AUSTRIA. Architecture 2012_13. 2014
Published by Architekturzentrum Wien. Zurich, Switzerland
ISBN: 978-3-906027-64-7
Page: 44

Published by Edilstampa SrL. Roma, Italy
ISSN: 0579-4900
Article: Ampliamento del Joanneum Museum di Graz, Austria
Author: Carlo Prati                                                                                                                                                         
Page: Cover, 80 – 85

Monograph NS. 2014
Fuensanta Nieto Enrique Sobejano Architetture
Published by Electa Architecttura. Milan, Italy
Authors: Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano
ISBN: 978-88-9180-228-6
Page: 204 – 215

Magazine NAN. Arquitectura y Construcción nº 91. 2014
Published by Grupo TPI. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 2341-1201
Article: Arquitectura española en el centro de Graz
Author: Editorial Board
Page: Cover, 28 – 32

The lastest architecture in and out of the capital
Published by Braun Publishing AG. Berlin, Germany
ISBN: 978-3-03768-160-2
Page: 142 – 143

Published by Hatje Cantz Verlag. Ostfildern, Germany
Authors: Fuensanta Nieto & Enrique Sobejano
ISBN: 978-3-7757-3619-0
Page: 69 – 79

Mies Van Der Rohe Award 2013
Published by Foundation MieS van der Rohe. Barcelona, Spain
ISBN: 978-87-936901-8-2
Page: 182 – 185

Magazine SPEECH nº 10. 2013
Published by SPEECH Tchoban & Kuznetsov. Moscow, Russia
ISBN: 978-3-86922-071-0
Article: You have to find a balance. Interview Enrique sobejano
Author: David Cohn
Page: 216 – 217

Magazine AV MONOGRAFÍAS / MONOGRAPHS nº 159/160. 2013                                                                       
Spain Yearbook
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0213-487X
Article: La Alfombra y los cráteres: diálogos con la historia
Author: Editorial Board
Page: 248

Magazine ARQUITECTURA VIVA nº 150. 2013
Centanary Masters. Ten Aniversaries and a Tribute
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0214-1256
Article: Luces cónicas
Author: Editorial Board
Page: 70 – 81

Monograph WA nº 269. 2012
Nieto Sobejano Architects
Published by World  Architecture Magazine Publications, Beijing, China
ISSN: 1002-4832
Page: 48 – 55

Magazine ARKETIPO nº 67. 2012
Published by Il Sole 24 ORE S.p.A. Milan, Italy
ISSN: 1828-4450
Article: Joanneum Museum Extension and Refurbishment in Graz, Austria
Author: Federica Gasparetto
Page: Cover, 114 – 127

Magazine ZEMENT + BETON nº 3. 2012
Published by Atelier Simma. Vienna, Austria
ISSN: 0514-2946
Article: Universakmuseum Joanneum. Infrastruktur in der Untergrund verlegt
Author: Cathérine Stuzka
Page: 32 – 35

Magazine HÄUSER nº 3. 2012
Published by Gruner + Jahr AG & Co KG. Hamburg, Germany
ISSN: 0724-6528
Page: 12

Magazine IdealesHEIM nº 3. 2012
Published by Archithema Verlag AG. Zurich, Germany
ISSN: 1423-6494
Article: Museums Stadt Graz
Author: Arianna Callocchia
Page: 16 – 18

Magazine D.LUX nº 11. 2012
Published by Poste Italiane  s.p.a., Bologna, Italy
ISSN: 11720-8017
Article: Visitor Center, Graz
Author: Arianna Callocchia
Page: 90 – 95

Magazine PROGETTARE nº 2. 2012
Published by Tecniche Nuove s.p.a. Milan, Italy
ISSN: 1594-8137
Article: Perforazioni di luce
Author: Arianna Callocchia
Page: 46 – 51

Magazine DETAIL nº 4. 2012
Published by Institut für internationale Architektu - Dokumentation GmbH & Co. KG. Munich, Germany
ISSN: 0011-9571
Article: Besucherzentrum Joanneum in Graz/ Joanneum Visitors’ Centre in Graz
Author: Editorial Board
Page: 337 – 344

Magazine METAMORPHOSE nº 1. 2012
Published by Konradin Medien GmbH. Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany
ISSN: 1868-4114
Article: Was machen eigenthlich die Musumsplanungen in Graz, Paise und Chemnitz?
Author: Cristian Schönwetter
Page: 48 – 49

Magazine CASABELLA nº 811. 2012
Published by Arnoldo Mondadori. Milan, Italy
ISSN: 0008-7181
Article: La logica del cerchio
Author: Giovanna Crespi
Page: 90 – 99

Magazine ARQUITECTURA VIVA nº 140. 2012
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0214-1256
Page: 7

Magazine MODULOR nº 1. 2012
Published by Boll Verlag AG. Urdorf, Switzerland
ISSN: 1662-7741
Page: 10

Magazine C3 nº 330. 2012
Published by C3 Publishing Co. Seoul, Korea
ISSN: 1227-611101
Page: 84 – 93

Magazine ARCHITEKTUR AKTUELL nº 386. 2012
Published by Springer-Verlag GmbH. Vienna, Austria
ISSN: 0570-6602                                                                                                                                                                                Article: Leerer Platz mit Kegel-stümpfen Joanneumviertel Graz-Empty square with truncated cones
Author: Ulrich Tragatschnig                                                                                                                  
Page: Cover, 70 – 77

Magazine AIT nº 1. 2012
Published by Alexander Koch GmbH. Leinfelden-Echterdingen, Germany
ISSN: 0173-8046
Page: 12 – 13

Magazine DBZ Deutsche BauZeitschrift nº 1. 2012
Published by Bauverlag BV GmbH. Gütersloh, Germany
ISSN: 0011-4782
Page: 30 – 37

Magazine SPACE nº 531. 2012
Published by Lee Sang-leem. Seoul, Korea
ISSN: 1228-2472
Page: 44 – 49

Magazine A10 nº 43. 2012
Published by Boom Tijdschriften. Amsterdam, Netherlands
ISSN: 1573-3815
Page: 32 – 33

Magazine MARK nº 35. 2011
Published by Frame Pubishers. Amsterdam, Netherlands
ISSN: 1574-6453
Article: Quietly Brilliant. Nieto Sobejano gains recognition through intellectual rigour
Author: Rafael Gomez-Moriana
Page: 78 – 79

Newspaper EL PAÍS. 09.12.2011
Article: El agujero como sello de identidad
Author: Anatxu Zabalbeascoa
Page: 46

Monograph AV MONOGRAFÍAS / MONOGRAPHS nº 146. 2010
Nieto & Sobejano 1999-2011
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 0213-487X
Article: Superficies Profundas / Deep Surfaces
Page: 122 - 129

Newspaper 20 MINUTOS. 21.11.2006
Article: Diseño español para un museo en Austria
Author: Editorial Board
Page: 28

Magazine AV PROYECTOS nº 018. 2006
Published by Arquitectura Viva, S.L. Madrid, Spain
ISSN: 1697-493X
Page: 28 – 29


Graz, Austria 2006-2011

Selected AIT Award Category Conversion. 2012