On behalf of the City and Canton of St. Gallen, Calatrava undertook the transformation of the historic Neue Pfalz cellars into a site for cultural events, while relocating the canton's emergency services center into a single new building. For the cultural space or 'Art Gallery', Calatrava created a new, semi-circular, below-grade forum, which can be used for exhibitions, media conferences, concerts and lectures. It is placed on the central axis of the Klosterhof building to avoid negative impact to the medieval facade. For the Art Gallery, Calatrava also renovated and transformed two existing underground rooms: the 70-meter-long (230 feet) palace cellar, which can be entered through two large arched constructions are suitable for exhibition and reception events; and the court cellar, around 30-meter-long (98 feet), which can be reached through a subterranean passage and from an historic entrance in the monastery courtyard, is suitable for more intimate meetings and receptions.
The new buildings are designed to contribute to this environment. The siting of the Art Gallery centers this facility with respect to the longitudinal vaulted nave of the existing cellars. Access is provided by way of a ceremonial ramp, strategically placed in an angle of the public square above and fitted with a retractable metal gate. When closed, the slats of the gate are flush with the square and are scarcely noticeable, but it is visible when the gate is opened. The two existing rooms have been technically upgraded and sensitively renovated with new plaster and a false floor with sandstone covering.
1997 - 1999
9000 St. Gallen