The Project - Introduction

The picturesque old town-areas of Krems and Stein are simply magnificent, says architect Bernhard Marte, and the chance to build there has been a great gift to him. The emotional proximity to achievements of past centuries has led to a design that integrates into the townscape with great sensitivity. The central feature of the State Gallery of Lower Austria, its rotation, connects two directions of movement — towards the historic city center and the Danube —at a place where visitors can soon explore the treasures of Kunstmeile Krems.


Bathed in light, the State Gallery of Lower Austria welcomes visitors with wide arches that form a prelude to their museum experience. A tour of the new four-story building crosses 3,000 square meters of exhibition spaces and leads to a presentation area in the basement, which connects the State Gallery of Lower Austria with the Kunsthalle Krems.

The Two-Stage, EU-Wide Architectural Design Competition and its Unanimous Result


The high-profile jury of the EU-wide competition unanimously ranked Marte Marte’s design proposal as the most convincing solution to the task. The jury’s Chair, Elke Delugan-Meissl, summed up its magnificent qualities as follows: “With great precision, a landmark, a dance-like sculpture is created. It is impressive by virtue of its significance and originality, and it rechoreographs the urban space. The project is convincing by the balanced relationship it forms between development and open spaces. This field of tension is strengthened in the shape of the new building through the rotation of its stories (…). Interior and surrounding spaces show a correlation, let the exhibition building appear differently from every point of view and open up various visual relationships for visitors as well as the residents of Krems.”

Competition Procedure:                       Open, two-stage realization competition followed by a negotiated procedure in the upper value range (EU-wide)
Constitutive jury meeting: June 16, 2014
Chair of the jury: Arch. DI Elke Delugan-Meissl
Vice Chair of the jury: Prof. Peter Baum
Stage 1 jury meeting: October 22 and 23, 2014
Number of submitted design proposals: 59 projects, in all
Stage 2 jury meeting: February 11, 2015
Negotiated procedure completed: April 2015




As freshly minted architecture graduates from Innsbruck, brothers Bernhard and Stefan Marte founded Marte.Marte Architects in Weiler, Vorarlberg, in 1993.

They have since won numerous competitions and international awards. Aside from State Gallery of Lower Austria, other large projects are under construction, such as the exhibition and documentation center of the Federal Foundation Flight, Expulsion, Reconciliation in Berlin, as well as a new exhibition center in Dornbirn.

At the 2016 Architecture Biennale in Venice, Marte.Marte’s solo presentation was the only Austrian contribution to the main exhibition.

Currently, their show “Appearing Sculptural,” which launched at the Aedes Architecture Forum in Berlin, is successfully touring cities in Germany and Austria.

Buildings designed by Marte.Marte Architects are distinguished by the duo’s principled approach of always thinking from scratch. The solutions they create convey a deep appreciation of the respective place and a consistent desire to reduce things to the truly essential. 


Views and Plans

With its unique rotated shape, The State Gallery of Lower Austria integrates into its surroundings in a special way, marking the axis between Krems and Stein as well opening the view of the Danube river.

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3,000 square meters of exhibition spaces extend over four floors. Future highlights include the roof terrace with a view in the direction of Göttweig Abbey. Furthermore, an underground area will directly connect the Museum and Kunsthalle Krems.

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