Ars Electronica Future Park
An Additional 4,100 m2 of Space for State-of-the-Art Technology
Recap of information presented at a press conference held by Linz Mayor Franz Dobusch, Deputy Mayor Erich Watzl, Councilman Johann Mayr and Councilman Klaus Luger on September 15, 2005 concerning the planned expansion of the Ars Electronica Center
With its one-of-a-kind exhibitions, the Ars Electronica Center has done a superb job positioning itself as the Museum of the Future since it opened in 1996. As a cultural venue as well as a tourist attraction visited by an average of more than 60,000 guests annually, this facility has made a name for itself far beyond our city limits and become one of Linz’s signature landmarks.
In preparation for Linz’s term as European Capital of Culture in 2009, the Ars Electronica Center will now be dramatically enlarged. The planned expansion—the City Council will pass the necessary resolution in the coming week—will increase the facility’s size from 2,500 m2 of exhibition space to 6,600 m2. The building costs including an architectural competition, planning, construction, artistic exterior decoration as well as interior outfitting will run approximately 25.5 million euros. We have a financial commitment from the Province of Upper Austria to cover a third of the expenses up to a maximum of 9 million euros.
This initiative will provide a tremendous innovative impetus to the Ars Electronica Center—both its physical plant and the activities pursued within it. There can be no better way to mark the Museum of the Future’s 13th anniversary four years from now.
This city planning challenge, impacted as it is by unique local circumstances and development possibilities, the necessary linkage with the existing structure as well as operative urban framework conditions, is quite an ambitious and demanding one. Over the course of this expansion, it is also planned to redesign the park that borders the AEC parcel to the south. An open, EU-wide architectural competition will be launched this year to come up with ideas for an optimal concept, one in which all due consideration is given to traffic issues and flood protection.
The entire competition, which will entail a cost of not more than 300,000 euros (excluding sales tax), will be conducted by Stadtentwicklung Linz. Once the winning project has been chosen, the task of developing, planning and executing the concept will be turned over to a construction management corporation (Immobilien Linz GmbH & Co KEG or some other entity to be incorporated at the time).
Construction is planned to commence in late 2006 or early 2007.
With the expansion of the Museum, the Ars Electronica Center will shoulder increased responsibilities and face heightened expectations as an educational institution. Furthermore, this move is also meant as a thematic shift in the direction of technologies and scientific disciplines with great promise for the future.
In the new Ars Electronica Future Park, visitors will confront—in addition to the existing AEC enhanced with additional exhibition space—a Science Newsroom and Planetarium of Knowledge, a Futurelab that plays a higher-profile role in the facility’s exhibit program and process of mediating visitors’ encounters with content, an intelligent rooftop installation linking up ecology and technology, as well as a new venue for cultural events.
The planned expansion is expected to yield the following ancillary benefits:
Assuring the AEC’s future viability with a bold concept for new and expanded content;
Appealing to broader target audiences and thus attracting more visitors;
Integrating the Futurelab and thus endowing AEC’s in-house research expertise with a more prominent public profile;
Enhancing the urban architectural attractiveness of the Old Urfahr East neighborhood;
Creating a new cultural venue;
Creating a tourist attraction for Linz and Upper Austria;
Merging the themes of ecology and technology;
Continuing to build our brand: positioning Linz as a modern, future-oriented metropolis.