The library and learning center designed by Zaha Hadid Architects has become the latest addition to the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Opening in early October 2013, the structure will house around 24,000 students and 1,800 staff. Its distinguishing features include a large cantelievered black volume that provides views to the surrounding landscape and contains the center’s main function: the library. Other programs within the center include a public square, café, classrooms, auditoriums, workspaces, and offices.

Arch2o-Library and Learning Center  Zaha Hadid Architects  (2)

Courtesy of  Zaha Hadid Architects

The lines of concrete that wrap around the exterior of the building give it a sense of fluidity and solidity while the stark and offset interior space gives the feeling of lightness. Zaha Hadid Architects describes the interior as “a free-form interior canyon “ and it is apparent when noticing that the enclosed forms inside are offset almost like a layered rock formation.

Arch2o-Library and Learning Center  Zaha Hadid Architects  (1)

Courtesy of  Zaha Hadid Architects

In order to achieve these sinuous forms, materiality had to be taken into consideration. Both the façade and interior are clad in locally-sourced fibreC glass fibre-reinforced concrete panels since it functioned both aesthetically and structurally. The high performance material allowed for cost-saving constructions of the high-quality, cutting-edge façade systems and ensured long-term durability.

Arch2o-Library and Learning Center  Zaha Hadid Architects  (5)

Courtesy of  Zaha Hadid Architects

It’s a sustainable and environmentally-friendly material that was able to form the curved façade designed in both the interior and exterior. The rector of the University of Economics and Business, Christoph Badelt states, “the design by Zaha Hadid Architects manages to combine all the key functions of study in most wonderful way. It is a vision that embodies this innovative concept of a university. “

By Lyly Huyen

Courtesy of  Zaha Hadid Architects

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