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Vienna’s 1950s-Era Wien Museum Reopens After 4 Years of Redesign, Expansion

by Ron Bernthal

Feb 29, 2024

© Certov Winkler

Daily

After an almost four-year redesign and expansion, Vienna’s popular Wien Museum Karlsplatz reopened its doors to visitors in late 2023. The original 1950s-era building, designed by noted Austrian architect Oswald Haerdtl, now has a new exterior and two additional floors.

balcony

© Kollektiv Fischka

Redesigned by Austrian-based Ferdinand Certov and Winkler + Ruck Architekten, the new open terrace offers views of the nearby Baroque Karlskirche (Church of St. Charles); and vibrant Karlsplatz, one of Vienna’s largest public town squares.

The newly revitalized Wien Museum Karlplatz is free for visitors, a first for an Austrian museum, and one of just a few Vienna museums offering free entry. There are numerous satellite Wien Museum cultural venues throughout the city, with the Karlplatz location the oldest and largest city museum.

Wine Museum

© Lisa Rastl

The permanent exhibition at the main Wien Museum, Vienna: My History, tells the city’s story using 1,700 objects. With its collection of exceptional works of art and other historical and contemporary exhibits, visitors are offered important insights into the history of Vienna.

The redesigned entrance area with its spacious glass pavilion and the opening of the building toward Karlsplatz in the form of the restaurant and plaza ensures the museum still is a startling local presence in the city. Its restaurant and cafe, trude & töchter, accommodates 70 guests inside and outside, depending on weather, and is a popular attraction among local residents and visitors.

Wien Museum

© Martina Baumeister

The building is now crowned by a striking new steel and concrete structure, a glazed terrace level that displays the museum’s special rotating exhibitions, which change several times a year and can be visited with a separate ticket.

“Wien Museum has become a true cultural meeting space, a living room for everyone,” said Matti Bunzl, museum director, Wien Museum Karlplatz. “This year the Museum will offer a diverse range of exhibitions, events, and educational activities, which include guided tours for children and adults, and a new gastronomic concept which is offering high-quality regional cuisine at an affordable price.”

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