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Heidi Horten Group presents the premiere "OPEN"

Heidi Horten Group presents the premiere “OPEN”

The former Archduke’s Chancellery Building

Architects have demolished the interior of the former chancellery, which dates back to 1914 and whose facade has remained virtually untouched apart from small interventions such as greening. Now, as it were, two viewing platforms, complete with luminous ceilings, float in the free space created. These larger units are flanked by smaller cabinets on either side that provide a more intimate setup for related work. This also includes The Tea Room, designed by Markus Sheinwald and Hans Kopelweizer, inviting regeneration as a haven of peace in the art world.

This interaction was at the core of the Next Enterprise concept, which could already point to a cultural icon on its to-do list with Grafenegg’s Cloud Tower. “It was important for us to create a variety of widths of space so that curators have the opportunity to treat the exhibitions differently in the additional use of the house,” architect Marie-Therese Harnoncourt Fuchs emphasized in an interview with APA. Partner Ernst J. Fuchs emphasized that the challenge of adapting an old building is not very different from the challenge of a greenfield site. Perhaps the difference is that the private creator shows more heart and soul in projects than in the public sector. But in this case, too, the following was applied: “The budget is set. You have a cost limit, and you move within that.”

About 50 works to open

However, this limit is clearly not a limitation, since three width levels of 1,500 square meters have been created, connected by free-floating staircases. Former Belvedere president Agnes Husslein-Arco, as director of the Horten Collection, is now showing its possibilities precisely with ‘OPEN’. About 50 works were distributed throughout the building for the inaugural exhibition. There is Damien Hirst’s “Love, Love, Love” as well as Constantin Luser’s giant “Vibrosaurier”, which spans two levels and symbolizes one of the thematic threads in the opening show regarding the relationship between animal and human. Lena Henke “UR Mother” is one of them. However, Basquiats/Warhols or Wurms are currently less attractive to this new art location in central Vienna than the house itself, which also invites you to stay outdoors with a small sculpture garden.

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New show prospects in the fall

From Friday, a maximum of 250 visitors will have the opportunity to tour the buildings of the new institution at the same time, which will be possible from next week on Thursdays from 6 pm to 9 pm with free admission. In keeping with the inaugural slogan “Open”, the report prepared by the billionaire’s widow Heidi Gus Horten from historian Peter Horace in collaboration with Maximilian Kotzner (University of Würzburg) ( is also free to access. It deals with the past of Helmut Horten, who died in 1987 and was repeatedly associated with the “Aryan” during the founding phase of his department store empire. The investigation concluded that Horton did not create or exacerbate an emergency for Jewish businessmen. Although he was a benefactor when he took over management of the department stores from Jewish landlords, he did not push the “Aryan” forward.

Now that the Vienna art world has sniffed at the new Horten Collection, the private museum wants to show its first “LOOK” exhibition in the fall. Here, fashion since the nineteenth century and the representation of femininity must play the leading role.