Snøhetta designs Italian mountaintop museum for Ötzi the Iceman
Visuals of Museum Quarter by Snøhetta in Bolzano, Italy

Snøhetta designs Italian mountaintop museum for Ötzi the Iceman

Snøhetta has released visuals of a Museum Quarter in the mountains of Bolzano, which will have a projecting stepped roof that doubles as a viewpoint.

If built the museum would have exhibition space for the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology and the Municipal Museum of Bolzano, and would house the famous prehistoric mummy of Ötzi the Iceman.

The proposal is an extension of Snøhetta's ongoing project with Signa Group, for which it is currently constructing a cable car system on Italy's Virgl mountain.

Visuals of Museum Quarter to house Ötzi the Iceman by Snøhetta in Bolzano, Italy

"The new Museum Quarter will create a synthesis of city and nature, of history and future, of building and landscape, of culture, leisure and knowledge," said Kjetil Trædal Thorsen, founding partner of Snøhetta.

"Visitors can meet Ötzi the Iceman on top of the Virgl mountain, a place with a historic atmosphere. In addition, the new Virgl cable car system and the Museum Quarter will provide spaces of cultural significance and recreational value next to the city centre of Bolzano."

Visuals of Museum Quarter to house Ötzi the Iceman by Snøhetta in Bolzano, Italy

Snøhetta's proposal imagines the Museum Quarter as a elongated structure that projects out from the mountain to echo its topography.

It would connect to the ring-shaped cable car station via a central plaza, which will be used as a space for open-air markets and concerts.

Visuals of Museum Quarter to house Ötzi the Iceman by Snøhetta in Bolzano, Italy

This plaza will be lined with a mix of seating areas, and lead up to the museum's stepped roof that provides panoramic views of Bolzano and its mountainscape.

A secluded entrance to the pair of museums will puncture the hillside, leading into a joint foyer area.

Visuals of Museum Quarter to house Ötzi the Iceman by Snøhetta in Bolzano, Italy

Snøhetta has also proposed developing and landscape the area surrounding the scheme to make the mountain more accessible for walking, hiking and biking.

"Through the planned cable car structure and the new Museum Quarter, the Virgl mountain will serve as a cultural and recreational area for the people and visitors of Bolzano," added the architecture studio.

"The new Museum Quarter will establish a new landmark for Bolzano and reinforce the city's international significance as a cultural destination."

Visuals of Museum Quarter to house Ötzi the Iceman by Snøhetta in Bolzano, Italy

Founded in 1989, Snøhetta is an international architecture and design firm based in Oslo, Norway and New York.

Alongside its Museum Quarter proposal, the studio has also recently completed a pair of wooden Outdoor Care Retreats at two Norwegian hospitals, as well as a crystal workshop for Swarovski in Austria.

Visuals courtesy of Moka Studio and Snøhetta.

More images and plans

Visuals of Museum Quarter by Snøhetta in Bolzano, Italy
Roof plan