Library & Learning Center
The heart of the university campus is the centrally located Library & Learning Center, designed by the Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid. The building’s cantilevered roof is visible from afar, and the prominent glassfronted monitor faces Prater Park. The external appearance of the building is characterized by two contrasting sections of light and dark. The building segments are separated by a seam of glass. Colored fiber-reinforced concrete was used to construct the façade.
The colors of the sections indicate the different zones within the building, with the lighter colored sections housing service units. WU’s students find all the study-related service centers here under one roof. The darker, anthracite-colored section of the building is dedicated to the WU University Library. With over 1,000,000 visitors per year and a collection that includes approximately 650,000 volumes, the WU University Library is Austria’s largest specialist library focusing on business and economics. It’s also one of the biggest of its kind in the German-speaking area.
Once inside, the impressive, futuristic entrance hall rises four stories high. This hall, known as the Forum, is made to feel like an extension or reflection of the square outside. After passing through the entrance hall, the building splits into its two segments. The imposing exterior of the building is furrowed with narrow, canyon-like divisions. Inside, the two segments are connected by walkways. Wide, spiral ramps and stairways lead from the entry area up through the Central Library, which extends funnel-like through six stories of the building. The top two floors are dedicated entirely to the library, where the wide, glass-fronted student work area offers a breathtaking view of Prater Park.
On the ground floor, the LC building houses WU’s two Ceremonial Halls. In these rooms, WU hosts public events like panel discussions and public lectures. International experts on business and economics gather here for conferences and meetings. The LC Forum provides an ideal venue for large-scale events such as bachelor’s graduation ceremonies, small-scale fairs, and information events for students.
Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects, Hamburg
Total floor space: approx. 41,000 m2
1,500 student workstations
Cantilevered roof with monitor