The Archives of Contemporary Arts: An Underground Treasure Chamber

About the Architecture of Adolf Krischanitz, 2010

One level under the busy day-to-day of the Danube University Krems, a cube-shaped hall made of exposed concrete serves as a space for contemplation on the collections of the Archives of Contemporary Arts.

With each chamber assigned to one artist, a square is formed in the centre of the hall, appearing as a black cube with a revolving access corridor around it. The four work rooms, which are identical in their set up, only differ in the choice of materials, be it the wood, the floor, the wall, the support beams and furnishing: birch - oak - cherry - walnut each define the respective atmosphere with their texture and colouring. The interior furnishing of the studies, which are lit by skylights, are of simple elegance: a table, two brass lights, the all-around shelf rack.

The archives documents are stored in a depot. A separate small lecture room offers space for dialogue. A lift connects the archive to the premises in which the scientific team’s offices are located. Public access is through the boiler house. As a subtle hint at its existence, the architect Adolf Krischanitz had stones placed on the surface above the underground treasure chamber, marking its outline.