The current project is based on the 1999 competition. At that time the brief represented an urban design vision for the gradual renovation of the museum complex with its various buildings exhibiting the different modes of transport, as well as a new building for the Road Transport Hall. During the first construction phase (2005–09) a new Entrance Building (FutureCom) was built in addition to the replacement of the Road Transport Hall. This urban design strategy enabled the creation of a central open courtyard (Arena), which in the new scheme will remain undeveloped, creating a setting for temporary, themed exhibitions as well as space for young visitors to run around and play.
The new Entrance Building forms a bridge-like link between the existing buildings on Lidostrasse (the Filmtheater, the Rail Transport Hall, and the high-rise with adjacent planetarium). The ticket office, shop area, and two restaurants are located on the ground floor – one restaurant offers table service and opens toward the lake, the other is conceived as a self-service restaurant that stretches out with fingers into the Arena. The exhibition areas for communication media, the new entrance to the Planetarium, and also the building services area are found on the first floor. The second floor accommodates the conference area, with a conference hall that seats 500 guests, a generous foyer, and three smaller meeting rooms. A large opening in the ceiling of the entrance hall affords views through the entire building – into the exhibition level and all the way up to the conference level.
The glass façades that provide protection from the elements also form more or less transparent “display cases” for all kinds of wheels, propellers, wheel rims, turbines, cogs, steering wheels, etc. These mechanical parts are densely hung on grids in front of the thermal insulation, shining and glinting through the blue-green glass panes of the façade. Seen at an angle, they submerge again behind the glass. Like a trophy display, the omnium-gatherum of recycled and dusted-off used metal together with pieces from the museum’s collection pays homage to the wheel as a basic element of mechanical movement.