It was a classic example – the architects were ready, the new building stood on the factory premises of one of the world’s biggest steel corporations near the river Danube in Austria. Only then the question was raised, “what are we doing with it?”.
Design a message – and the business model to finance it
When we got invited to Voestalpine, the briefing was to design a reception desk in their new headquarter. We asked them in return, “what’s the story you want to tell visitors about steel?”. Instead of a reception desk, we proposed they to build an exhibition. They said, “great idea, but we don’t have the budget.”. So we proposed to generate our own budget: By having 50.000 visitors a year who would be paying to see the story of steel we could finance the headquarter.
Eventually, we built the Stahlwelt Museum Voestalpine . A giant communicative message, conveyed by an expansive steel hedgehog hung from the ceiling, filled with iron molecules that can be individually projected on. Today, “Stahlwelt” has not only changed the way Voestalpine saw themselves or visitors saw the whole subject of steel. It has also, among Ars Electronica or Lentos Kunstmuseum, contributed to the cultural landscape of the city of Linz, which is now perceived as the “City of MediaArts”.
Adam Award 2010: bronze, ADC Deutschland 2010: 1x award, 1x silver, ADC New York 2010: Merit, Clio Awards 2010: silver, DDC Award 2010: silver, iF 2010: award, Red dot 2010: 2x red dot, Designpreis Deutschland 2011: silver