competition entry with Franz Bittenbinder
The ART TANK establishes a new museum for contemporary art that is both unique in setting and configuration. Not merely a new touristic hotspot in a stunning scenery along the Lago Miseno but a condenser for locals and visitors, for creative minds and dedicated enthusiasts. Its premises allow for art residencies, conferences and local events as well as for the uncompromising experience of large-scale installations, sound and visual performances. The ART TANK is deliberately given an unpretentious look that elaborates on the very physical aspects of architecture rather than giving in to contemporary obsessions with referential symbolism and commodifying spectacle. With the power of art the archeological site of the Piscina Mirabilis is given new life, with the power of architecture the ruin is given new perspectives.
The Roman ruin from the first century AD is embedded into a wider complex that is articulated along an ever changing path of spaces varying in geometry, rhythm, and most importantly distinguished by changing daylight exposure: from the gorge like entrance, the underground hall, the tank up to the roof courtyard, all premises are clearly defined yet connected with a variety of thresholds. These thresholds mediate between contrasting characteristics but also give emphasis to the massive or fragile traits of its material constituents. In this way, the visitor’s way is designed with and around the most archaic tools of architecture in order to establish place, evoke emotion, create shelter and give space to halt and think – a contemplative path that tunes down the noise of the surroundings allowing for an open mindset for fascinating exhibitions.