We envisage the new academic space located at the north-east of the new Campus of the Vienna University of Economics and Business as a venue for multiple networking. More than a mere building, the Teaching Center is a learning platform that promotes spontaneous communication while also making it possible to undertake the classes and activities that occur within. This quest for spontaneous exchange has different levels and scales sharing one common denominator: the path is the goal. For us, a contemporary Teaching Center should encourage curiosity in the everyday routine of those who teach as well as those who learn, becoming a place where moving about and getting on stage does not lead to experiencing spatial boundaries by instead giving free reign to the imagination.
ABOVE US: STROLLING
The Forum plaza located in front of the Teaching Center’s main entrance is as much an exterior world of the Campus, as an extended interior world. Spatial versatility is experienced via the “connecting space” of the dense body (Teaching Center), as well as via the interior staircases and ramps (Aula).
BELOW US: MOBILIZING
The parking access beneath the central auditoriums and the Main Lecture Hall (Audimax) are both suspended bodies, in which the big city’s noise is no longer perceived, thereby allowing users the experience of “listening”. Serenity in the flow of movement.
BETWEEN US: SEARCHING
The sequence of closed and opened spaces seeks again and again to create private areas in this public building designed for about 4,000 users. Small town anonymity is neutralized by unexpected appropriations.
ALONGSIDE US: IMAGINING
During the course of the day, the Assembly Hall is transformed by natural light entering from all directions, forming a lively space that fosters creativity. The provision of artificial LED lighting enables knowledge to spread further through contemporary technology.
AROUND US: DISCOVERING
The Aula walking path follows an ascending spiral course accompanied by an oasis of study spaces. Different learning intensities mean a gaze can wander and become absorbed by searches in different directions.
BEHIND US: LISTENING
Vienna’s coffee culture can be seen, smelled, watched, enjoyed and experienced in the 360° panoramic views from the multitudinous dining area, located in between the flows from the different plazas. The daily visit to the canteen is stimulated by watching the passing of the four seasons, as well as different daytime and night scenes, which enhance the overall experience.
BEYOND THE TEACHING CENTER: GLOBALIZE
We propose a densification of learning at different levels, either through horizontal spatial sequences (Patio plaza – Lounge – roofed urban platform – Food Court), or through a vertical spatial stratification (access staircase to the Departments building – corridors – atrium). The Department of Global Business and Trade effectively becomes the center of all activity in between the Library and Learning Center and the Teaching Center. The Center is here.
Through a simple language and complex spatial sequences, the Teaching Center at Vienna’s new Campus WU makes it possible to recognize the signs that encourage society to form by means of architecture. Here, places for leisure and recreation appear together with plazas that allow interactions between movements, events and spaces; or, in other words, connections between people, activities and architecture are conceived.
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