Masterplan - Campus of the Vienna University of Business and Economics | The Plan
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Masterplan - Campus of the Vienna University of Business and Economics

Masterplan - Campus of the Vienna University of Business and Economics
By Phyllis Richardson -

The campus of the Vienna University of Business and Economics is an audacious architectural feat with six new buildings designed by world-class architects and all completed for its opening in October 2013. The buildings represent a diverse range of styles, from the daring curves of Zaha Hadid to the rusted steel rectangles of BUSarchitektur & BOA Office for Advanced Randomness, who also oversaw the master plan. The plan and its emphasis on social integration is perhaps the most significant gesture even in the face of such conspicuous architecture. A key component was the insistence on maximum social integration, signaled by the establishment of the main pedestrian thoroughfare onto which all of the new buildings open. This unifying element stresses public engagement and together with the use of benches and landscaping, was meant to create a
“park-like atmosphere” where students and faculty would feel invited to gather and interact outside the class rooms.
Many of these new buildings also have cafes and shops to emphasize the social and community dimension of the project. The master planners were determined that face-to-face encounters should be encouraged. They decided that the pedestrian exits from the underground parking structure should all channel to the above-ground public path rather than allowing people to access buildings underground without having any experience of the larger campus.
Another campus priority that is less clearly visible is the emphasis on energy efficiency. Designers and engineers employed various strategies to reduce emissions and energy use. For example 65-70% of the power needed to heat the buildings is derived from geothermal energy. And most of the buildings are many times more energy efficient than standard models of a similar size.

Phyllis Richardson

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