Great cultural offer in Vienna
The MuseumsQuartier (MQ) is an art-space, an open-air living space, a creative space for artists, as well as a meeting place for lovers of music and dance. It is a creative and architectural flirtation between new and old, baroque and modern, museum art and cyberspace.
The history of the (re)construction of the site stretches over no less than 300 years. Together with the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) and the Museums of Art and Natural History, the MuseumsQuartier – then still in use as the imperial stables and riding school – was originally intended to form the Kaiserforum (“Emperor’s forum”).
“What are these bits of wreckage supposed to be?”
The first reaction of critical Vienna residents, as the so-called Enzis first began to populate the MQ in 2002. Soon these colourful solid-foam pieces of furniture were much sought-after: they’re just perfect for lying, sitting, exercising, relaxing, reading, sun-bathing or picnicking.
Today this urban space is dominated by architectural contrasts
The neoclassical former winter riding school (in which Empress Elisabeth enjoyed riding lessons) is flanked by the light-coloured cube of the LEOPOLD MUSEUM and its anthracite-grey counterpart, the MUMOK. The red bricks of the KUNSTHALLE WIEN contrast with the green trees of the courtyard. The edges of the MUMOK are curved and rounded, while the LEOPOLD MUSEUM grows straight and sharp from the stone of the courtyard. On the top floor of the LEOPOLD MUSEUM a panoramic window presents the MUMOK just like one of the priceless paintings on its own walls. The MuseumsQuartier offers many such aspects and outlooks, contrasts and parallels, pointers and references.
The MQ is one of the world’s ten largest cultural complexes
and since its opening in 2001 has been one of Vienna’s liveliest and most popular spaces. With its cultural activities for all ages, its shady outdoor cafes and coveted places in the sun on the legendary “Enzis”, with its punch stalls in winter and tempting cocktail bars in summer, an excellent art bookstore and shops for young design, the MQ has become a favourite spot of Vienna’s inhabitants: the pulsating heart of the creative scene, an island of culture and recreation in the middle of the city.
Text: Nina Lucia Groß, Fotos: Christine Wurnig