Two hundred feet above Salzburg’s old town, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg’s home perched on Mönchsberg hill boasts panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. Restaurants including the prestigious Café Winkler and, most recently, the Casino Salzburg had occupied the prominent location for decades until an international architecture competition was held in 1998 to build the Museum der Moderne Salzburg’s new Mönchsberg venue. A jury chaired by the Swiss architect Luigi Snozzi reviewed the numerous submissions and selected the designs of the architects at Friedrich Hoff Zwink, Munich. After three and a half years of construction, the Museum der Moderne Salzburg’s second venue was inaugurated in October 2004. With 25,000 sq ft of gallery space on three levels, it features spacious rooms for exhibitions of the art of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.

Having taken the MönchsbergAufzug elevator to the top of the hill, visitors enter the museum through a spacious lobby shared by the museum shop and the reception desk; doors lead to the adjoining auditorium. Skylights illuminate the soaring central staircase with its clearly defined formal language and austere aesthetic—exposed concrete walls are the dominant element. From the galleries, visitors enjoy vistas of the Amalie Redlich Tower, the sculpture terrace, Hohensalzburg Fortress, and the surrounding forests.

Located at gallery level 2, the café/bar/restaurant m32, with interiors by the architect and designer Matteo Thun, beckons with sprawling windows and a terrace that offers a wonderful view of the city of Salzburg below.

The Museum der Moderne’s entire façade is clad in fine-grained Untersberg marble and structured by vertical joints. In addition to their functional aspect, these joints can also be interpreted as a tribute to the city of Mozart. The arrangement of the ventilation slots encodes the notes of selected arias from Mozart’s opera Don Giovanni.