The client, a public institution in the Austrian region, Styria, needed a fresh concept for the History Museum’s permanent exhibitions and its entrance, housed within a significant historic building at Graz’s city center. The task was to present an enormous number of objects acquired since the Middle Ages and multimedia archives of the 20th century in an historic space that required careful treatment.
The adaptation of the museum entrance required a solution that subtly enhance the entrance attraction of a previously very hidden and dark atrium. A custom iron “carpet” was laid over historic stone flooring with an aim to direct and offer a platform for exploration. The lighting installation above is created by Austrian artist Brigitte Kowanz.
The concept is based on a journey through “Schaudepot,” an exhibition depot, divided into two parts – the Cultural History Collection and the Multimedia Collection. The first section honors the diversity of physical objects that reflects use of industrial material with less customization while providing an interaction with the historic artifacts. While the exhibition setting is multifunctional and freely adaptable, it also retains a consistent interior lining which creates an atmosphere that displays objects of various shapes and sizes allowing visitors to experience the historical space from an unexpected perspective. The second part displays multimedia archives enabling deep insights into the dispersed depot character through tailored scenography which leads the visitor to embark on a journey through the genesis of the Multimedia Collection. Finally, formerly hidden treasures of both collections are made accessible to the public in a raw and industrial surrounding, enabled by the fluent transition throughout of an infinite metal wall loop that allows a balance of historic content and contemporary exhibition design.