Generali Foundation

Exhibition rooms for contemporary art
3,400 sqm

The new building for Generali Foundation was slotted into an existing courtyard ensemble on an irregularly shaped site.

The most substantial alteration to the existing ensemble was the introduction of a linear construction element to relieve static loads. This element also articulates the exhibition space into individually lit sections for a variety of uses and eliminates spatial residue.

In the former factory warehouse, the central wall extending over seven floors was replaced by a new primary structure which bears the weight of the floors. The span of the floors was reduced to meet the new structural requirements. Access and utility supply lines are also housed in this primary structure.

While sharp-edged concrete was used for the new load-bearing elements, the old buildings retained their uneven surfaces under a new coat of rendering.

The only new façade is the glass roof providing natural illumination. Operable slats prevent sunlight from penetrating directly into the rooms; instead, large diffuser panels scatter the light.

Photos © Hertha Hurnaus