In Mint Condition: Münze Österreich by BWM Architekten

The Austrian Mint is home to the design & minting of all Austrian coinage in the capital, Vienna. Recent renovations by BWM Architekten have left the building - shall we say - shining like a new penny.

The goal was to increase this historical building’s visibility in the city by refurbishing the entrance, and carrying the conversion through to the forecourt and shop areas. The design is inspired by the company’s corporate culture, and the conflicting worlds of higher technology and traditional values that play out in the maintenance of the minting process.

Coordinating with the building’s gleaming white façade, a wide concrete ramp arcs upwards to the entrance of the building, with elegant steps alongside leading to the shop’s portal. Spotlights along the inlet of the pathway create an element of red-carpet grandeur, casting shadows of the surrounding trees up onto the high white walls.

Inside, we see the aesthetic dichotomy between tradition and technology as the walls are flanked with 70s minimalist wooden & fabric paneling interspersed with futuristic glass portals. Inside these capsules appear miniature exhibitions of Austrian minting history, dotted in series throughout the space in a range of sizes.

Wooden kiosks stand in the center of the room, further adding to the old-timey vibe of a European library, but with interactive tablets inside to educate guests about the minting process. Screens appear throughout the furnishings, creating a strong opposition between traditional and technological values.

As the natural color palate with natural materials permeates the design, but the linear flow throughout the foyer brings some semblance of a space station to mind, it is clear that the objective of Austrian Mint is to re-introduce the historical art of minting to this millennial age, without completely abandoning the historical aspects of the industry.

BWM have successfully created an interactive experience that guides guests through this historical metropolis, mindful of both the past and future of the Austrian Mint heritage.

Photography by Andreas Balon