The Krems tobacco factory was built in 1852. As its original function of processing tobacco diminished over time, an international architectural competition was held in 1992 to convert it into an exhibition building.

The winning project by architect Adolf Krischanitz was implemented. It focuses on the dialogical contrast of old structure – the former tobacco factory – and a newly created construction – the exhibition hall with the lecture hall. Together with the access ramp, an inner courtyard was created. In the course of the project, the inner courtyard was covered with a glass roof and turned into an additional exhibition space. 

The old and new structures together create a series of distinct areas, such as exhibition spaces, a lecture hall, a library as well as offices, storage rooms and technical rooms. In the historical part, the supporting wooden columns and thus the early industrial character of the old building could be preserved.

All new structures can be easily identified due to the chosen material (fair-faced concrete). The event-oriented access path connects old and new forming the character of Kunsthalle Krems.

Gerhard Lindner 
(From: Denkmalpflege in Niederösterreich, Bd.19, 1997)

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