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Architects Create Extraordinary Fluid Structure Enveloped In Stainless Steel

PANEUM, Wunderkammer des Brotes, Austria, Coop Himmelblau Architects, Stainless Steel Shingles, Photography Markus Pillhofer
Photograph ©Markus Pillhofer

Powerhouse Austrian architecture firm Coop Himmelb(l)au is revered on an international level for their extraordinary architectural feats. The firm’s design principal and CEO Wolf D. Prix founded the company in 1968 and since has expanded the firm into a well-renowned global influencer, with offices in Vienna, London and Los Angeles.

One of the firm’s latest architectural feats was the Customer Information Centre and Event Forum PANEUM- Wunderkammer des Brotes in Asten, Austria. The building is astounding with two noticeable elements; a boxy concrete-covered monolith and an abstracted, free-floating form on top. The architects at Coop Himmeb(l)au describe, “The chosen materials augment the contrast of these two elements: The square base building shows a cast-in-place concrete façade while the rounded wood structure of the museum is clad in stainless steel shingles.”

PANEUM, Wunderkammer des Brotes, Austria, Coop Himmelblau Architects, Stainless Steel Shingles, Photography Markus Pillhofer
Photograph ©Markus Pillhofer

The building’s base can accommodate 120 visitors who utilize it for events, presentations and workshops. But the real pièce de résistance is the “Wunderkammer des Brotes” that is formed by the building’s circular atrium. From the ascending spiral staircase, the exhibited items that are suspended around them besiege visitors, offering unique perspectives of each piece. While the skylight above naturally lights the atrium, all exhibit spaces utilize artificial light.

PANEUM, Wunderkammer des Brotes, Austria, Coop Himmelblau Architects, Stainless Steel Shingles, Photography Markus Pillhofer
Photograph ©Markus Pillhofer

Interestingly, the fluid form is composed of wood, which is exposed on the interior. Utilizing sophisticated three-dimensional software, the designers were able to construct the structure within a short time.

PANEUM, Wunderkammer des Brotes, Austria, Coop Himmelblau Architects, Stainless Steel Shingles, Photography Markus Pillhofer
Photograph ©Markus Pillhofer

The architects further describe, “The self-supporting wood shell of the exhibition structure is visible in the interior. It is composed of layered circles of cross-laminated timber. Leaving precisely shaped wood timber exposed on the interior, with just a layer of paint, made additional interior finishes unnecessary.”

PANEUM, Wunderkammer des Brotes, Austria, Coop Himmelblau Architects, Stainless Steel Shingles, Photography Markus Pillhofer
Photograph ©Markus Pillhofer

The exterior features an abstracted pattern of stainless shingles that lightly refract and reflect light at varying angles. The use of concrete and metal create a wonderful juxtaposition that continues through the interior where the harshness of the concrete is further contrasted by the warmth of the timber elements.

information courtesy of Coop Himmelb(l)au
photography © Markus Pillhofer

DISCLAIMER: The following project does not feature Alucobond® aluminum composite material (ACM). The “Industry (Architecture)” section of our blog focuses on extraordinary architectural works from around the world. While this project does not feature our ACM, we have included comparable samples to what was used in the project above.

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