Read out

Architecture & Buildings

Uni­versity of the Fu­ture

In­ter­na­tion­al­ism, in­nov­a­tion, di­versity – the new Cam­pus WU is the con­crete real­iz­a­tion of WU’s vi­sion for a mod­ern uni­versity. The fun­da­mental prin­ciples of the new ar­chi­tec­ture re­flect the val­ues and ideas we cher­ish at WU.

Show more

As a pub­lic in­sti­tu­tion, WU has lived up to its re­spons­ib­il­ity of build­ing its new cam­pus in an eco­nom­ical, eco­lo­gical, and so­cially sus­tain­able man­ner. WU’s de­cision to locate the new cam­pus in Vi­enna’s second dis­trict will re­define this area and trans­form it into an edu­ca­tional hub. We have not only con­struc­ted new build­ings, but in the pro­cess we have also given con­crete real­iz­a­tion to our ideas of what the uni­versity of the fu­ture should look like. The new cam­pus is more than just a place for aca­demic re­search and teach­ing and learn­ing prac­tical skills; it is also designed to cre­ate a new space for so­cial, cul­tural, and polit­ical life.

The im­pos­ing Lib­rary & Learn­ing Center (LC), designed by the Ir­aqi-Brit­ish ar­chi­tect Zaha Hadid, is a test­a­ment to the cent­ral im­port­ance of re­search and teach­ing at WU. The Lib­rary & Learn­ing Center is sur­roun­ded by five build­ing com­plexes, in­clud­ing the Teach­ing Center, which houses most of WU’s aud­it­or­i­ums. The Teach­ing Center is in­ten­ded mainly for bach­elor de­gree stu­dents, while the mas­ter de­gree pro­grams are taught primar­ily in the in­di­vidual De­part­ment build­ings. The Ex­ec­ut­ive Academy build­ing is the home of con­tinu­ing edu­ca­tion and life-long learn­ing pro­grams. In this way, the vari­ous build­ings and their func­tions re­flect the three ti­ers of teach­ing and learn­ing rep­res­en­ted by the Bologna Pro­cess.

WU’s De­part­ment-­based or­gan­iz­a­tional struc­ture was also a con­trib­ut­ing factor. In the past, the vari­ous In­sti­tutes that make up the De­part­ments were scattered across dif­fer­ent loca­tions. Now they have been brought to­gether in four De­part­ment build­ings, which will make life much easier for both stu­dents and fac­ulty.

These are not the only im­prove­ments the new cam­pus has to of­fer: All rooms have nat­ural light, and the aud­it­or­i­ums fea­ture state-of-the-art teach­ing equip­ment, in­clud­ing di­gital white­boards. There are 3,000 stu­dent work­places, three times as many as in the old build­ings in Vi­enna’s ninth dis­trict. These work­places are located not only in the ded­ic­ated self-study areas, but also in pro­ject rooms that can be booked by teach­ing staff and stu­dents alike. They cater to dif­fer­ent needs by provid­ing quiet spots for fo­cused aca­demic work as well as op­por­tun­it­ies for work on group pro­jects in com­mu­nic­a­tion­friendly study areas.

The top pri­or­ity in plan­ning the new cam­pus was to cre­ate an en­vir­on­ment for WU stu­dents and staff that is con­du­cive to pro­duct­ive work and com­mu­nic­a­tion.

Not only the build­ings them­selves, but also the sur­round­ing grounds of­fer plenty of op­por­tun­it­ies for com­mu­nic­a­tion and meet­ing people. 55,000 m² of Cam­pus WU’s total 100,000 m² of floor and sur­face area is open, pub­licly ac­cess­ible space. Fences or bar­ri­ers would con­tra­dict our vi­sion of an open cam­pus.

Vis­it­ors and area res­id­ents are more than wel­come at Cam­pus WU. The cam­pus of­fers not only food for thought, but also res­taur­ants, cafés, and shops, all in a stim­u­lat­ing ar­chi­tec­tural en­vir­on­ment.

As dif­fer­ent as they may look, however, the build­ings are all based on the same over­all tech­nical con­cept: the build­ing in­fra­struc­ture is stand­ard­ized in terms of con­struc­tion, en­ergy sup­ply, vent­il­a­tion, and san­it­ary fa­cil­it­ies. The entire cam­pus has been designed in ac­cord­ance with “green build­ing” prin­ciples. Much of the re­quired en­ergy is ob­tained us­ing geo­thermal en­ergy from ground­wa­ter.

An­other key fea­ture of Cam­pus WU is bar­ri­er­-­free ac­cess­ib­il­ity. All aud­it­or­i­ums are spe­cially equipped for people with dis­ab­il­it­ies, all areas are designed to be wheel­chair ac­cess­ible, and the cam­pus also fea­tures a tact­ile guid­ance sys­tem for the visu­ally im­paired.

We have not only made sure to com­ply with all rel­ev­ant legal guidelines, but we have also drawn on ex­per­i­ence gained from best prac­tice examples. WU aims to play a pi­on­eer­ing role – in all re­spects.