Architects: Kopper Architektur
Location: Vienna, Austria
Structural consultant: DI Robert Krapfenbauer
Project manager: BIG
Project area: 690 sqm
Project year: 2002 – 2010
Photographs: Bruno Klomfar & Sebastian Schubert
After the construction of the first research lab located outside of the main building in the 1980s, the Anna Spiegel Research Building, together with the Center of Translational Research of Med Uni Wien, the Medical University of Vienna, and CeMM of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, located on the premises of AKH, Vienna General Hospital, is, for the time being, the culmination of urban development in the Eastern part of the site.
The site, which is now used for the Anna Spiegel Research Building, has for many years been designated for the construction of a new dentistry clinic. It was not until the rehabilitation and extension of the dentistry clinic on the existing premises was officially agreed that the area was becoming available for new types of use in the late 1990s.
After that, studies were carried out in order to determine the actual type of use, with approximately two thirds of the land being assigned to MUW, the Medical University of Vienna, and one third being assigned to OAW, the Austrian Academy of Sciences. The aim in this context was to accommodate the two functions in two independent and autonomous buildings while at the same time emphasizing the synergies generated by the use of joint structures.
The original starting point was a joint lab structure based on a totally symmetrical triple-hipped formula; yet in the course of the development and of the definitions of use, the two buildings each developed in their own direction.
Due to the urban-development location right at the hub of the exactly-arranged axis system of AKH and Spitalgasse, a street heading North-East with a slant, to which the entire Eastern area with its 1910 buildings bears reference, the Eastern facade of CeMM has seen consistent moulding-into-shape, further emphasized by the superstructure imposed on an existing air-intake building.
This Eastern facade which, in architectural terms, was always designed as a membrane to which the longitudinal facades are adjacent, has seen the realization of a work of art by Peter Kogler which is totally in line with the architectural contents, i.e. the design of appr. 400 sqm of facade area provided with cellular structures.
With its terraces and inclined facades, the implementation of the top facilities as a seminar and communications zone provides a clear-cut reference to the inherent functions, meaning that any formal focus remains firmly rooted in the functional aspect at all times.
Due to user requirements, interior design is rather large-scale, with the architectural formula, e.g. extensive and noticeable room and window heights, creating the impression of airy spaces. In addition, glass walls or skylights create transparency, harmoniously intertwining with the facade artwork and enriched by intriguing depth effects.