The extension of the University of Applied Arts in Vienna begins with three existing building—Schwanzer, Schwanzer Connecting Wing, and Ferstel—surrounding a garden, and four primary urban associations—the Ringstrasse, Oskar Kokoschka-Platz, the Fritz Wotruba Promenade, and the Museum of Applied Arts (MAK).
A New Design Ideal Is Always On The Way:
Operationally, the school becomes entirely new. The building’s mix of stylistic histories strengthens the Angewandte since it embodies the idea that building, art, and design concepts continuously evolve. Ideals in architecture change over time, and the re-making of a group of buildings that include components from different historic periods should suggest that the next design ideal is always on the way. Pedagogical intents, technical and material capacities, and philosophical predilections from the late 19th century, the mid-20th century, and the early 21st century will all be engaged in the conception of the new project which confirms that, as one point of view replaces another, the architecture discussion is always incomplete.
The challenge for Angewandte students, faculty, and visitors who will occupy this amalgamation of three versions of architectural history is to imagine the next chapter in the progress of design ideas, and give that new vision an Angewandte voice.
The End of Dead-Ends:
The current pattern of organization sub-divides the existing building into discrete zones , largely segregated by location and purpose, with little encouragement or access for students and faculty to move from one area to another to investigate the intentions of their colleagues at work in other parts of the building. The current sequence of three connected structures, a “horseshoe” in plan, creates two closed ends which become repositories for a segregated arrangement of separate departments. The current building is a fixed, closed system.
The redesigned Angewandte will replace the closed ends with a continuous walkway of architecture, art, and design events –studios, seminars, assemblies, informal discussions and leisure spaces – circling forward and back over a variety of paths, replacing a fixed conclusion with an open and flexible prospect.
The Flying Bridge Blocks:
The new design proposal eliminates the closed organization at the south ends of Schwanzer and Ferstel by introducing three bridge-blocks—glass enclosed trusses, stairs, and new program space—that span the garden, east to west, connecting all floor levels of Ferstel and Schwanzer with a series of continuous circulation and activity loops. Each of the three new bridge-blocks include assembly, studio (what kind of studio activities are you thinking about? We can correct this to whatever the layout calls for. Ideally it is
a function that can take advantage of opening to the garden. Got it; we will figure out if and what studio related areas could go into the Saddle Blocks. We would adjust the text accordingly.), and leisure areas, and conceptually associate the existing circulation and interior atrium volumes in Ferstel with a new pair of new double-height volumes to be provided in Schwanzer.
The first bridge begins at the ground floor lobby, the second bridge originates at the second floor of Ferstel, and the third bridge originates at the third floor of Ferstel. All three bridges connect to Schwanzer on multiple levels, allowing for a variety of circulation opportunities.
A new, multi-story addition is attached to the west face of the existing Schwanzer building, widening the existing building by projecting prominently west on the south end, then curving gently east as the block extends south to north, terminating with a cantilevered student lounge space over the Oskar Kokoschka-Platz. Two new double-height spaces in the existing Schwanzer building serve as library and leisure area, become the landing points of the new connecting bridges, and are made legible with indented balconies overlooking the garden. Stairs running north-south connect the three bridges, and link the two double height event spaces.
The Submerged Blocks and the Angewandte-MAK Garden:
The new design proposal re-organizes the garden, and adds three, partially submerged buildings within the garden. The roofs of these submerged blocks, partially landscaped, coincide with the floor level of the lobby, enabling building occupants to walk directly south, out of the lobby to the upper garden level, and down the new hillside gardens to the lower garden walk. The lower garden level coincides with the first basement floor of Schwanzer, which, now opens to the garden.
The submerged blocks add new, sky lit space extending Ferstel east at the basement level in the blocks and beneath the slopping garden mounds. A second basement level, directly below basement level 1, extends east and connects with the second basement of Schwanzer. Ferstel and Schwanzer are now linked by the flying bridges above the garden, and the second level basement floors.
The existing sculpture studio is removed from the garden to provide additional green space. The garden now opens to the MAK garden and Noever platform, creating a continuous Angewandte-MAK Art garden area. An outdoor seating area and stage for gatherings and performances is excavated from the rolling green landscape, and the entire garden is connected to the public walk along the Ringstrasse by opening the garden to public entry.
A glass canopy is provided, partially covering the new garden above the three submerged blocks. The sloping glass roof structure is creased twice, analogous to the existing roof typology of Ferstel, fitting between the new bridge-blocks, touching the three existing buildings, and opening the garden to southern light, air, and weather, along with the MAK, and the new outdoor performance venue as the glass rises on the south end of the garden.
To facilitate architectural aspirations, the concept for the structural design is based on a series of vertical and diagonal braces arranged to reflect the various spatial constraints associated with the pedestrian access points, incoming service routes, roof canopy, etc. The structure is proposed to be constructed from structural steel tubular sections with visually clean, welded connections. The resulting three dimensional framework provides in plane and out of plane bending stiffness to resist self-weight and imposed loads. The technical solution as developed limits imposed loads on the existing Schwanzer and Ferstel Buildings understanding the structural limitations of these existing structures.
Between the existing structures, Schwanzer Building and Ferstel Building, pedestrian bridges will span to support a glass canopy and series of pod structures. The architectural concept for the pods is to suspend from the existing buildings by way of the bridge trusses. Specifically, the pods will derive vertical support and lateral restraint from the new frame to be placed on the exterior of the existing Schwanzer structure at levels four and five. The suspended structure also derives vertical support from new columns placed in the existing Ferstel building supporting bridges on levels two and three. This vertical support and resulting sliding joint will form a structural movement joint between the buildings which is carried through the architectural finishes and cladding. Additionally, the pods will be connected through trusses at canopy level to provide further stability of the individual pods. The glazed canopy will be supported through a series of cables and structural steel tubular sections spanning between primary structural elements.
Environmental and FaÇades:
The new additions to Angewandte will allow the College to display leadership in sustainability, while enabling considerable cost savings over the life of the buildings. The renovations and new construction has been designed to be “passive”; energy use reduction is achieved with thermal mass, self-shading, envelope design, and the strategic use of daylight. The canopy at the building courtyard provides an innovative opportunity to use an outdoor area as program space. Vegetated roofs are incorporated, which help mitigate storm water, provide an amenity, and provide habitat with native plants.
The curtain wall system for the building façade system spans between floors and is suspended from the floor slabs. The thermally broken frames will be shop fabricated and contain dual pane insulated glass. The glass will have a low e coating to curb infrared radiation in addition to a ceramic frit to cut down on solar heat gain. Low iron glass will be used to increase the visual light transmission where additional day lighting levels are required. Additional thermal performance will be achieved with the addition of exterior and interior shades to tackle the solar heat gain and glare issues.
The pedestrian bridges overhead glass and the canopy glass will be a point supported wet sealed glazing system. The laminated safety glass will have a ceramic frit pattern between the panes and will be drilled for mechanical fastening with spider fittings. The glass and spider system will be supported by the steel framing and cable support system. All exposed steel will use high performance coatings against the elements. The pod structures will have rain screen metal panel cladding system with cut out box frame windows. The glazing will use insulated glass panels with similar performance characteristics as the new curtain wall glass. The rain screen metal panel wall systems will have external insulation in the cavity and the pod roof metal panels have an internally drained gutter system.
Eric Owen Moss Architects and Susanne Zottl Architektin
Eric Owen Moss
Buro Happold—Structural, MEP and Environmental