Hydrothermal remediation



KUNST HAUS WIEN launches a comprehensive modernisation process.

In the future, the programme will be even more dedicated to the multi-layered relationship between man and nature as well as the climate issue, thus placing the focus on ecology topics. From summer 2023, the building will undergo an urgently needed geothermal renovation to make the museum fit for the future. At the same time, the permanent exhibition by Friedensreich Hundertwasser will also be repositioned. During the renovation phase, KUNST HAUS WIEN will remain present in public space with the outreach project "CLOSE(D)". The preparatory process for the Vienna Climate Biennale 2024 is also in full swing - the focus here will be on inclusion and multi-perspective work, among other things.

CLIMATE-FIT FOR THE FUTURE: Hydrothermal renovation

KUNST HAUS WIEN was built in 1991 in the former Thonet furniture factory according to the philosophical and design principles of nature-oriented building by Friedensreich Hundertwasser. More than 30 years later, the museum is in urgent need of renovation. The technical installations from the time of construction have reached the limits of their capacity. In order to continue to guarantee flawless museum operations in accordance with the applicable standards, the air conditioning and ventilation system needs to be renewed - a project that will be tackled in the second half of 2023. Together with Wien Holding and Kunsthaus Wien Liegenschaftsverwertungs & - verwaltungs GmbH, a contemporary technical system and an energy concept using sustainable energy sources will be implemented. The plan is to install an alternative heating and cooling supply using geothermal energy to replace the fossil fuel gas. The costs for the renewal of the building services amount to around 1.5 million euros and will be borne half by Wien Holding and half by the property owner. Other areas are also being modernised, including fire protection, electrics, security, sanitary facilities or visitor:interior guidance. The museum is also taking the opportunity to redesign the foyer and create space for education. Due to the renovation work, the museum will be closed for several months from June 2023. During this period, a programme will take place in the public space around KUNST HAUS WIEN.

"Renewal of the building technology, new installation of the Hundertwasser exhibition, an artistic-ecological outreach programme and the preparation of a Vienna Climate Biennale - we have planned a lot for KUNST HAUS WIEN in 2023. And yet it is little compared to the burning issue to which all the activities of the house are to be dedicated even more strongly in the future: the confrontation with the climate crisis and its consequences. At KUNST HAUS WIEN, we want to mobilise the power of art to reach people on the climate issue, also emotionally, and encourage them to free themselves from resignation and powerlessness in connection with the climate crisis and to turn to their own courage and ability to act."

Gerlinde Riedl, Director of Kunst Haus Wien

Hundertwasser in the mirror of contemporary positions on art and ecology

In the future, the programme of KUNST HAUS WIEN will be even more strongly dedicated to the multi-layered relationship between man and nature: based on the artistic and ecological visions of the museum's founder Friedensreich Hundertwasser, current questions about the climate crisis, biodiversity and the future will be negotiated - in contemporary exhibitions, participatory mediation formats or outreach programmes - in the local sphere of influence, with international appeal. As a place of encounter, KUNST HAUS WIEN practices a low-threshold approach to art and culture and seeks exchange with other disciplines and actors. Sustainability is a guiding principle - in both the ecological and social sense, at the programmatic level as well as in operations.

Hydrothermal remediation

An important step in this direction is the structural and technical renovation of the building: A future-oriented energy concept is to be implemented in KUNST HAUS WIEN that meets the sustainability requirements of a green museum. The installation of an alternative heating and cooling supply by means of geothermal energy is planned. The project will be implemented from summer 2023 in cooperation with Wien Holding and the property owner, Kunsthaus Wien Liegenschaftsverwertungs & - verwaltungs GmbH.

Repositioning of the collection

Another project close to the heart of the KUNST HAUS WIEN will be tackled in 2023: the first new presentation of the world's largest collection of works by Friedensreich Hundertwasser since the museum opened in 1991. The new exhibition concept will be developed by curator Andreas J. Hirsch in close consultation with the KUNST HAUS WIEN and the Hundertwasser Private Foundation. It will be implemented parallel to the modernisation of the building and will provide visitors with new and deeper insights into the world of the universal artist.

Outreach project CLOSE(D)

During the renovation phase, the museum will step outside: 13 artists will occupy public spaces around the museum with interventions, performances, audio and video installations, Grätzl walks, discourse formats, workshops and a community centre. The outreach project brings together diverse ecological perspectives on the present and the future and initiates a contemporary engagement with the environment that will culminate in the organisation of the Vienna Climate Biennale in 2024.

Vienna Climate Biennale

Revolutionary changes require courageous approaches. The Biennale directors Sithara Pathirana and Claudius Schulze started the preparatory process at the beginning of January 2023 and are focusing on inclusion and collectivity, multi-perspectivity and the breaking down of barriers for the first Vienna Climate Biennale 2024. With exhibitions, cooperations with science and business and a festival programme throughout the city, the Vienna Climate Biennale is to be established as an international art platform.