Main News Hourglass for Vienna

Hourglass for Vienna

Hourglass for Vienna

Rotterdam firm MVRDV has won a competition to design an addition to the skyline of Vienna, proposing a new hour-glass-shaped tower that will be located between the airport and the historic Gasometers.

Due to its trapezoidal plan and its proximity to the metro station, the site was initially restricted in height to constructions of 75m high or less. MVRDV proposed a more compact and efficient square layout but with greater volume.

The architects minimized the impact of the building’s shadow on its surroundings, by designing the lower 10 storeys into a twist. The proposed hour-glass figure will open up views towards the Gasometers and the rest of the city.

Winy Maas, co-founder of MVRDV, says: “It is nice to see that if we take the two hours cast shadow regulation seriously we are able to create an unprecedented tower. A tower with a slender ‘taille’. Isn’t that the classic definition of beauty?”

The twist will help to brighten the lower part of the tower and connects it to the plaza below. Functioning as a syphon, it will divert the frequent autumn winds, keeping them away from the plaza and the metro station entrances.

Due to it flexible structural design, the storeys can be developed into housing or a wide variety of office configurations, from open plan to smaller space divisions. The individual storeys, placed in the curving ‘waist’ of the building, will include generous outside spaces, connected to one another by external stairs. The combination of square and twisted plan layouts throughout the tower’s height, will lead to a celebration of the unique Viennese mixture of urban blocks and towers.

The TurmMitTaille will be built in a cost effective structure of composite columns and concrete slabs. The steel and glass façade will include windows that open and full-height French doors in order to allow natural ventilation.