WU – Public Space Furniture
Founded in 1898, the Vienna University of Economics and Business (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien or WU) is the largest business and economics school in Europe. When student numbers increased during the 1990s it became evident that new campus facilities were required. Their selected location, in Vienna’s 2nd district, was dubbed “Campus WU”.
The campus features six main buildings resting on approximately 25 acres of publicly accessible land. The buildings are designed by architectural firms from Spain, the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan and Austria. The dominant element of the campus is the Library & Learning Center, designed by Zaha Hadid.
Wubuki were invited to develop the initial concepts for a family of elements to populate and unify the public spaces across the entire campus. The scope of this ‘family’ ranged from seating solutions, water fountains, lampposts & lighting to waste-bins, planters, signage, information points, bollards and more.
Our brief was challenging: to develop a strong, unique and clear language that would be expressed by all elements whilst not detracting from their respective core functionality. Other design considerations included the seasonal extremes of weather in Austria, accessibility for mobility and the visually impaired, durability for long-term proper and improper use (vandalism), batch manufacture and ease of maintenance.
After the successful definition and inclusion of our concepts, we provided further design consultation for several of the squares and seating areas.
We also worked in conjunction with Boa to produce a series of 3D animations and visualizations to express design intent for all stakeholders. A short extract from one animation can be viewed below.
It was our pleasure to participate in this prominent and successful urban development. We are honoured to have left our mark on the architectural landscape of beautiful Vienna.