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Continuity and gradients are two driving factors which influenced SPAN (matias del CAMPO & sandra MANNINGER) in their design for the New Maribor Art Gallery of Vienna, Austria. Describing the project, the architects state,

The continuous, swelling flows combine the interior and exterior space in a subtle way, creating a seamless connection between the outside garden areas of the new Maribor Art Gallery, the open plan ground floor level, and the river Drava.”]

 Courtesy of SPAN

This continuous line of circulation draws up into the volume of the building creating a central vortex which is both circulation and a holding volume for large-scale instillations. This 22 meter ‘vertical cyclone’, as SPAN describes it, also acts as a light-well for the central spaces of the gallery. The different programmatic elements radiate off of this core through direct connections- almost like plasma being thrown off a revolving star. 

Courtesy of SPAN

The space that spans between this cyclonic core and the outer skin is kept deliberately ‘blank’ in anticipation of future reconfigurations. The building sits on a ‘concrete table’ of undulating double-curved surfaces. These provide a sturdy base for the steel ‘box’ which sits atop it. The architects envision this steel as the thing that sets the stage for the future. It also provides the form for the outer shell which is two layers laser-cut material. A script provides the pattern for these cuts based on anticipated solar levels and the programmatic elements which fit behind the screens. These outer skin is multi-coloured to a similar rationale as that of the screens. The south facade is predominantly white to offset the strong southern sun, while the north is a deep purple which just drinks in the weaker northern light, seeking to hold as much of it as it can.

Courtesy of SPAN

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