Extension | Vienna | Austria

Type: public buildings
Client: Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft BIG
Planning: 2012     

The University for Applied Arts Vienna intends to revitalize its historically notable central location, next to the historical city centre of Vienna, in compliance with the high demands of a modern international Art-University. As in the sense of a trilogy, a new object rises between two important architectural monuments talking self-assured in its own contemporary language. The tower, positioned tight on the southern boundary line, emphasizes its autonomy with a highly differentiated figure, built up in layers and gently creeping out behind the Schwanzer building. This building primarily serves as an office building with common used areas on ground level and also as a central core unit for the whole university. Its position rearranges the given situation as an open urban Campus and initiates a dialogue with the museum for Applied Arts in the south. Such it becomes the gravity center for the whole City Block. Consciously it was positioned tight against the Schwanzer building. This results in a thrilling space towards the Ferstl building. The necessary light influx is being taken care of by the staggered facade which opens towards unrestricted light prisms. The sculptural building is well perceptible from the Stubenring and from Oskar-Kokoschka-Platz. It contains centred on ground floor the entrance lobby and opens up all three buildings. An accurate analysis of the brief was taken as a basis and the thorough evaluation of the possibilities led to a redistribution of functions in the existing objects. An ideal positioning of the studios is reached in the Schwanzer structure and in the Ferstel building by means of minimal invasive interventions. Not only areas but also volumes are being taken in consideration. High rooms in the Ferstel building will be used for painting and sculpting. Additional galleries open up not only further areas, but also new viewing angles for the pieces of art. The studios in the Schwanzer structure are being used mainly for classrooms in which modern digital media are employed. Functionally the following considerations have been thought about:
Since the new tower building takes on the access and distribution function, the Schwanzer building can be alleviated: the broad oversized stairs are being replaced by an escape stair each on the far end of the block. Such a continuous flexibly usable net floor area of approx. 1.100m² can be achieved. Each floor can also be seen as one or two Studio-units since the access occurs in the centre of the floor and the division line can be moved to a degree. Studios of different continuous room sequences can be accommodated here in optimal arrangements. The workshop remains in the Schwanzer block. Now it can be served on ground floor directly from Oskar-Kokoschka-Platz. Also the waste disposal is located here. The upper floors of the Ferstel building will be used for Studios of smaller size while ground floor and 1st basement are being spared for more general uses: Mensa, library with a reading tower in the former inner court and an exhibition hall (Crit space), which can also be shut off from the university and be used publicly from Stubenring. The administration and partially “offices-Lehre” are located in the new tower building, which is purposely conceived for this use in terms of room heights, modules and technical infrastructure. Later changes can easily be accommodated due to a modular design. A core with elevators and an escape stair make the general administration accessible, a second lift cluster together with a stair arrangement which connects all upper levels becomes the new main distribution core for the intercommunication of students and teachers. Also the terraces are connected via this sculptural vertical element. They are partially allocated to the offices either or will be used commonly. This should result in an improved working atmosphere and enhances the intern communication of teachers and students. The Campus yard between Ferstl- and Schwanzer building has a complete basement. This level contains the generally accessible lecture halls, auditorium and multifunctional hall and it represents the level which connects all parts of the building. The court itself is a landscaped yard and allows a through way from Oskar-Kokoschka-Platz to the green court of the adjoining museum. From the Ringstraße the access via the protected connecting building element has not been changed. In the small court behind it, the parking facilities are reduced drastically so as to allow for bicycles and open space as a coffee terrace for the mensa. The main entrance is still from Oskar-Kokoschka-Platz. The former entrance building will be replaced by an emblematic element which covers and highlights the access. This open cube becomes an identification symbol. It defines between the public City space and the Campus. The platform serves as a vantage point and as a retreat. In the base the right enclosure of the university campus would be integrated. The forecourt will be redesigned. The position of the bust of Kokoschka will be upgraded, the trees from Simon Wiesenthal and originally planted by Beuys will be included in the garden concept. Additionally we propose, as a possible extension, to add an identical floor to the Schwanzer building. The crisp and clean form and the recognisability will remain and an additional net usable area of 1.100m² would be achievable.