CRAB studio has recently completed the Departments of Law and Central Administration, at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, as part of the new campus masterplanned by BUSarchitektur ZT Gmbh. Using their experience as university teachers, Cook and Robotham gave the university vibrant colours, and ensured that internal and external spaces are seen as an opportunity for students and teachers to engage within class hours, as well as ‘hang out’ after classes.
The 200 meter long pair of buildings rise colourfully in Vienna’s Prater district. The buildings fold out to form a seres of roof desks, they zig in and out to create ‘sunshine corners’ and are occasionally eaten out to create balconies for smokers or others who are needing a break. A central courtyard connects the campus, with routes that connect it to the Prater Park on the south, diving through the red base of building.
CRAB studio‘s belief is that a successful university building should have generous and engaging internal spaces that are simply seminar rooms or offices, but places that encourage you to stay around after class. The architects carved out spaces of the interior and slither around in a similar way to the building as a whole.
The colourful exterior facade was cladded in natural timber louvres that offer shading from the sun, as well as respond to the woodlands that surround the campus.
The entire profile of the building was inspired by the landscape formation. Over time, the structure will be covered in vegetation, allowing the building to become part of the surrounding.
CRAB studio has also incorporated ‘capsules of quiet’ in the library, ‘sound clouds’ in the seminar rooms with their own undulating mannerisms for chairs and key items of furniture.
*The new campus of the WU was masterplanned by BUSarchitektur ZT Gmbh and includes buildings by Zaha Hadid Architecture, studio of Hitoshe Abe, Estudio Carme Pinos S.L, NO.MAD Architects and BUSarchitektur ZT Gmbh.
Project: Departments Of Law And Central Administration, Vienna University of Economics and Business
Architecture: CRAB Studio
Location: Vienna, Austria
Primary team: Prof. Sir Peter Cook, Gavin Robotham, Mark Bagguley, Stefan Lengen, Theresa Heinen
Photography: Ronald Kreimel
Awards: 2014 RIBA European Award, Shortlisted WAN Education Award 2014, Shortlisted WAF Higher Education and Research Award 2014
*All images and information courtesy of CRAB Studio.