Zwettlerhof

Since 1973, Dom Museum Wien has been located in the former residence of the Cathedral Provost, in the Zwettlerhof building. This historic building is situated between Stephansplatz and Wollzeile, right in the heart of Vienna: Where the intellectual and spiritual center of the city meets the secular hustle and bustle of one of Vienna's busiest streets. The affiliative nature of the museum's location is literally and figuratively manifested by the two public passageways. 

The buidling's name dates back to the 14th century and is a testament to the efforts at the time to upgrade Vienna and St. Stephen's Church by creating an architectural and organisational center. The name derives from the Zwettl Monastery, which came to own the building (which was first erected in 1244) in 1303, after the original Zwettl building had to make way for the new construction of St. Stephen's apse. In 1361, Duke Rudolf IV. took over Zwettlerhof in a trade-off, as he required residences for the provost and canons of the new collegiate church he had just establiched at St. Stephen's. In order to accommodate them, he funded the renovation (the first of many to take place over the course of the centuries) of the building. It remained the property of the collegiate church, and finally of the archbishopric. In the 19th century, the historic structure was torn down and rebuilt in 1844, which is when the passageways were constructed that remain iconic landmarks of the city center to this day. 

When Dom Museum Wien was relocated to the first floor of Zwettlerhof in 1973, it moved to a location imbued with a strong visual and spatial connection to the Cathedral and the city. 

The Renovation 2013-2016

Since 1973, the museum has been housed in the former Provost's residence in the Zwettlerhof building. The apartment-like quality of the museum remained intact: restricted to one floor with a somewhat hidden entrance, the connection to the Cathedral was provided via the bank of windows on the upper floor facing Stephansplatz.

The renovation, which began in 2013, finally made the long-held wish to make the museum more accessible and create a more open space within the cityscape a reality. A large, transparent space was created between the two passageways leading out toward Stephansplatz, allowing for a seamless transition from the city into the museum. The design by Boris Podrecca combines a spatial expansion with a visual and architectural opening of the museum. Transparent materials and a reduced color palette highlight the objects while ensuring that the architecture remains in the background. A wide, flowing spiral which Podrecca refers to as a "figura serpentinata," connects the floors to one another. The spiral staircase and the round glass elevator it wraps around open the spaces to visitors and passers-by alike, and invites them in to the museum.

The exhibition space on the upper floor oscillates between the winding nooks and crannies of historic structures and spacious areas that open up towards Stephansplatz. One half creates a jewel box-like atmosphere in which to display the invaluable historic Cathedral treasures, while the large open spaces in the other half are flexible enough to accommodate special exhibitions. Between the chapel on one hand and the open facade facing the plaza on the other, Dom Museum Wien fulfils its role of sacred space and a place for encounters, allowing for all kinds of interactions with the objects in its collections.

Photo project by Hubert Lobnig
2014 bis 2017

The artist Hubert Lobnig documented the work on the construction site from beginning to end.