Old friends of Belgrade Design Week, Zaha Hadid Architects are the authors of a gorgeous new project: Library and Learning Centre which recently opened at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien).

This is one of the seven buildings that make up a new campus designed to accommodate 24.000 students and a staff of 1.800. This structure with a total area of 28.000 sqm has a distinguishable ZHA shape, and its most distinctive feature is a large black volume perched over the roof and cantilevers out across a public square at the main entrance. The building is designed like a cube with both straight and inclined edges. The straight lines of the building’s exterior separate as they move inward, becoming curvilinear and fluid to generate a free-formed interior canyon that serves as the central public plaza of the center.


The Center comprises a “Learning Center” with workplaces, lounges and cloakrooms, library, a language laboratory, training classrooms, administration offices, study services and central supporting services, copy shop, book shop, data center, cafeteria, event area, clubroom and auditorium.

A facade is made of special glass fibre-reinforced concrete panels, produced by Austrian company Rieder Smart Elements. It is inclined at an angle of 35 degrees, allowing floor plates to increase in size towards the top of the building, which gives the entire structure a particularly monumental appeal.


Photo © Rieder Smart Elements

P.S. The incredible Patrik Schumacher, Zaha Hadid Architects director, was the recipient of the BDW Grand Prix in 2011.


I stopped working for others because then I have the responsibility and I feel like an advertising agency. When I work for Yello, I can make a fool out of myself. Whatever I do I go through the process of becoming a child, an idiot, totally unimportant. When I have the responsibility to start with it is disturbing." "I think every human is a God. All our life is about becoming like a child, trying to find out who is really hidden inside yourself, who you really are, who is the divine being inside. Great alpinist climb mountains not to become world famous, but to learn something about themselves, to come closer to that inner-child. If you are exposing yourself to the process of climbing the mountain, it is very important you are prepared to make a fool of yourself, to let yourself fall into the emptiness of vague idea, and to have the courage to be a total idiot. Only then you have a chance to die with the smile on your face.