Hollein’s architectural concept places equal emphasis on the Museum’s exhibition and educational purposes by allowing these to overlap and complement one another.
The main entrance area offers a clear overview of the museum’s various sub-sections: the ticket office and cloakroom, the temporary exhibition zone, the “multivision” (audiovisual) area, the storage depots, the administration zone, stairways, educational facilities, and the gallery causeway leading to the museum annexe.
The use of daylight was optimized not only for technical but also for psychological reasons: contact and orientation to the outside natural world heighten visitors’ perception of the enclosed exhibition spaces – and, moreover, allow passers-by to look inside from various standpoints, even when the museum is closed.
The fact that the museum’s contrasting levels can be explored at will also fosters public access, and potentially reduces threshold fears among those sections of the public who might still see the museum as a place not really intended for their own use and enjoyment.
 A clover leaf-type arrangement of large self-contained spaces, some of which are lit by dome lights, can be accessed via the flexible exhibition zones equipped in part with mobile walls. Alternatively, one can pass beneath the terraced zone to reach variously designed spaces, each of which has its own distinct ambience. Although priority was given to creating architecture as artwork and hence, a consciously neutral tenor, simply wandering about the Museum was also considered a vital and enriching experience. The museum was therefore conceived not as a linear development but as a matrix in which a myriad of possibilities and synergies can unfold and interact.
The cafeteria (with a view of the abbey and the exhibition space), the “multivision” (audiovisual) area, the arts and crafts classroom and other educational spaces (lecture rooms) are not isolated but bracketed by parts of the collection, and sometimes also have their own exterior (garden) space. The architectural system per se, with its transitional spaces and shifting vistas, likewise facilitates multilayered encounters. Here, there are no prescribed tours to follow but rather, rich and varied experiences one can explore at one’s own pace. This museum is intended as a vibrant space in which one can “live”: a place one can spend an hour or a whole day, return to, or keep in one’s mind’s eye as a unique memory.