At the beginning of 2001 the Künstlerhaus in Salzburg was adapted and renovated by the group architects known as HALLE 1, based in Salzburg, who also planned the extension to the neighbouring county court.
Besides extensively renovating and opening-up the Künstlerhaus, the building project aimed to establish an appropriate standard for a house where contemporary art is created and exhibited.
The design followed two basic ideas:
- to free the late 19th century building from extensions that were added later and to emphasise the clarity of the historical form.
- to realise the architectural innovations necessary nowadays in order to present them in a contemporary context.
The technological equipment in the Main Exhibition Hall was adapted to present-day standards. A new exhibition cabinet was created. The flight of steps at the entrance was returned to its original state as a pyramid staircase. The area surrounding the Künstlerhaus is once again a public space, freely accessible from all sides.
A café terrace made of glass on the side of the building overlooking the river Salzach has been docked on to the existing CaféCult that was planned in an initial building phase by the Viennese architect Elsa Prochazka. Outside the building a 13-metre vertical flag, visible from far and wide, advertises the exhibitions in the Salzburg Kunstverein.
The building project was funded as part of the investment programme for cultural sites by the city and province of Salzburg. Total costs amount to € 900,000 — a quarter of which were covered by the Kunstverein from its own reserves and with the help of private sponsors.