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October 8, 2003
The MQ is partially carved out of the former royal stables by famed architect Johann Fischer von Erlach, but with many additions designed by architects Laurids and Manfred Ortner. Manfred Wehdorn is credited with adapting the eighteenth century historical buildings to their new twenty first century contexts. For maximum effect, try to walk uphill and around the perimeter of the complex until you reach the "top" of the area. The perimeter retains a regular look of the neighborhood fabric, so you will be pleasantly surprised when you walk "in" to the MQ and experience the exciting levels below you. The newly topped roofs of the stable buildings lead you to staircases cascading toward the museums below. The buzz of activity and culture is very apparent, as the locals chat with friends in a vibrant atmosphere. Vienna cafe life seems to have been transformed here in the shape of these exterior MQ spaces. Even if you are not going into any of the museums, a stroll through the MQ will give you a feeling of how energized "new" Vienna is.
The MQ complex features the whitish limestone cube of the Leopold Museum (with the largest private Egon Schiele collection), the subtle gray basalt textures of the MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna), the red-bricked Kunsthalle, the Architektur Zentrum Wien (Vienna Architecture Center), and the ZOOM Children's Museum. The plaza areas in between are well attended by young and hip locals, and there was a swanky outdoor reception adjacent to a tubular art installation while I was visiting. Additional activity spills out from the museum cafes into the very public outdoor spaces.
A unique souvenir is a small "pocket catalogue" and foldout map capturing the architectural development and features of the MQ. You can buy this for four euros from several vending machines, which dispense this mini-book that is about the size of a pack of cigarettes.
From journal Bill in Austria - VIENNA
May 21, 2003
Hours generally 10am-7pm, check websiteSubway (U-Bahn):U2 (MuseumsQuartier); U2, U3 (Volkstheater)Bus: 48a (Volkstheater), City Bus 2a (MuseumsQuartier)Tram (Strassenbahn): 49 (Volkstheater)Parking 0600-0000 daily
From journal VIE