RIBA European Award for Library and Learning Centre

The Library and Learning Centre (LLC), the central building at the heart of the Vienna University of Economics and Business (WU Wien), won a Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) European Award.

The recently opened project was designed by Zaha Hadid Architects to accommodate 25,000 students and 1500 staff and serves as the university´s meeting point and gathering space. Our conceptual and thorough design role helped to convert the architect’s vision in a buildable solution which emphasises the different building functions as well as the dynamics of the design.

The 42,000m² building rises as a polygonal block from the middle of the university campus. The design takes the form of a cube with both inclined and vertical façades. In the interior, these straight edges become curvilinear and fluid to allow light, views and connections throughout the building. The structure includes materials, façade construction and differentiated colours of light that accentuates the shape and form as well as the varying uses of the building.

“This project is an example of the role that lighting plays in reinforcing iconic architecture with the aim of strengthening or redefining an image and brand, in this case for a university campus.”
— Paula Longato, Lighting Designer, Arup

The engineering was done both in 2D drawings and in 3D models in order to convert the architect’s design into a buildable solution with very satisfactory results for both the architect and the project owner.

“The building fulfils a far more relevant and important purpose as a readily visible and usable resource for the new site and the popularity of the building with students and other users as a place for study is clearly evident.”
— RIBA Award 2014

WU is the EU’s largest educational institution for business and economics, business law, and social sciences. A total of six new buildings have been constructed on the WU campus located between the Vienna Messe and Prater Park at Welthandelsplatz.

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