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Monocle 24's 'The Urbanist' Investigates the Influence of Politics in the City

For this edition of The UrbanistMonocle 24's weekly "guide to making better cities," the team investigate politics in global "power cities." Visiting Brussels, capital of Belgium and administrative capital of the European Union, they explore how politics have changed the city over the last four decades. Further south, they travel to Vienna which, "diplomatically remains very important and wields power." Yet even though the UN have an outpost there, is the Austrian capital still a stage for international diplomacy? The episode also makes a quick stop at Embassy Row in Washington D.C. to examine the architecture of diplomatic design.

Wiese / Synn Architekten

© Hertha Hurnaus © Hertha Hurnaus © Hertha Hurnaus © Hertha Hurnaus

The Whole Building’s a Stage in This Conceptual Cirque du Soleil Theatre Design

A team of students from Austrian-based Studio Hani Rashid at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna have unveiled their conceptual design for a Cirque du Soleil Performance Center in Brooklyn, New York.

With its interior and exterior blended together, the entire building becomes a stage. Featuring large windows that allow the public to watch performances and training activities inside, people on each side are both viewers and viewed.

Monocle 24 Travels to Tokyo, Vienna and Melbourne Examining 'Quality of Life'

For this week's editions of Section DMonocle 24's weekly review of design, architecture and craft, and The Urbanist, their weekly "guide to making better cities," the Monocle team travel across three continents exploring the seemingly illusive question of 'quality of life.'

In this week's edition of The Urbanist, and to coincide with Monocle's annual Quality of Life survey, Andrew Tuck examines why Tokyo is at the forefront of an urban-garden revolution, how the Austrian capital is planning on self-facilitating its development as a major business hub, and talks to Robert Doyle, Lord Mayor of Melbourne, about the apparent cultural boom currently taking place in his city. In Section D, Josh Fehnert transports listeners to the UK's "post-industrial heartland" to talk to the people behind this year's Sheffield Design Week, plus more.

Listen to both episodes after the break.

Share Your Ideas for a Livable City with the Walking Visionaries Awards

Walk21 Vienna has launched its Walking Visionaries Awards, a challenge that invites people from around the globe to explore the many ways walking can be implemented into our daily lives to support sustainable and livable cities. Submit a solution now through April 30, 2015 for a chance to participate in the Walk21 Conference in Vienna, Austria in October 2015. 30 winners will receive a free ticket to the conference and given the chance to meet leading professionals and share their ideas with other visionaries through mediums such as lectures, round table discussions, and workshops. Additionally, the winners' solutions will be published in the conference documentation. Selected by both public opinion and a jury vote, winning submissions will be announced in June 2015. For more information or to submit an idea, visit walk21vienna.com.

AZPML and SHARE Selected to Design 115-Meter Viennese Office Tower

AZPML and SHARE architects have won a competition to the design a new prominent office tower in Vienna. The building, Schnirchgasse 11 “aims to strike a balance between a distinctive identity for the complex and an efficient operation, both in terms of flexibility of use and environmental performance,” by taking on a rhomboidal shape derived from the site’s geometry and shade conditions. 

More about the competition-winning scheme, after the break.

Vienna to Build World's Tallest Wooden Skyscraper

Rüdiger Lainer and Partner plans to construct the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper next year in Vienna’s Seestadt Aspern area. 76 percent of the 84-meter tower is expected to be made from wood rather than concrete, saving approximately 2,800 tonnes of CO2 emissions (equivalent to driving a car 25 miles a day for 1,300 years). 

“I think it is important everyone now in 2014 thinks in different ways. We have wood, which is a perfect construction material for building,” she said. “It was used 200 years ago and it was perfect then and is perfect now,” says Kerbler project developer Caroline Palfy, commenting on the architects’ decision to use wood due to its environmental benefits.

An interior loft view and more details, after the break. 

Competition Entry: Pichler & Traupmann Fuses Two Axis to Envision Vienna High-Rise

The latest competition entry, "Gate 2 Tower" from Pichler & Traupmann Architekten examines the relationship formed between a high-rise building and its local and global surroundings to create a cohesive design that bridges the problematic gap between these different scales. Employing unconventional methods, Gate 2 Tower features geometries that not only create unique interactions, but also inform each other. 

Exterior showing the curved diagonal axis. Image © Isochrom Vienna Interior of an office space. Image © Isochrom Vienna Exterior showing relation at the "global" scale. Image © Isochrom Vienna Exterior showing the curved diagonal axis. Image © Isochrom Vienna

176-Pound Concrete Slab Falls From Year-Old Zaha Hadid Library

A 176-pound (80 kilograms) chunk of concrete cladding has fallen from year-old Library and Learning Centre at the University of Economics Vienna. This, unfortunately, isn’t the first time the Zaha Hadid-designed structure has malfunctioned; last year, an “assembly error” was deemed the reason why a large piece of fiberglass-reinforced concrete crashed down in front of the building’s entrance. 

Atelier Thomas Pucher's Urban Terraces to be Built in Vienna

Atelier Thomas Pucher has won first prize in an invited competition to realize a cluster of “Urban Terraces” in Vienna. Described as a product of the “modern patchwork city,” the project is designed to connect its residents to the surrounding districts and open space through the “countless sight lines” preserved by the circular nature of the mid-rise buildings. This is intended to achieve a sense of “urban porosity” within a stacked residential landscape. 

© Jam Jam © Lukas Gać © Lukas Gać Macro Neighborhoods - Our planning opens countless lines of sight between the adjacent districts as a way of bringing together the neighborhoods in a macro sense. The result is a porous urban intervention that acts as a moderator or host between the neighborhoods. Image Courtesy of Atelier Thomas Pucher

Hadid, Gehry, and Others Fight to Save Helmut Richter's Modernist Masterpiece

The Science Secondary School in Kinkplatz, Vienna is the work of late Modernist architect Helmut Richter. Considered to be his most iconic and enduring work, Richter’s school is now faced with partial demolition to make way for a conversion of the building’s use and architects from around the world are making an effort to prevent that demolition from happening. Influential individuals, from Zaha Hadid to Bernard Tschumi, have signed a petition voicing their dissent and demanding that Richter’s legacy be protected. See the details, and sign the petition, after the break.

Wirtschaftspark Breitensee / HOLODECK Architects

© Wolfgang Thaler © Wolfgang Thaler © Wolfgang Thaler © Wolfgang Thaler

Wohnen Mit Scharf! / SUPERBLOCK

  • Architects: SUPERBLOCK
  • Location: Ernst-Melchior-Gasse 3, 1020 Vienna, Austria
  • Area: 4100.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Hertha Hurnaus, Courtesy of SUPERBLOCK

Courtesy of SUPERBLOCK © Hertha Hurnaus Courtesy of SUPERBLOCK Courtesy of SUPERBLOCK

CJ5 House / Caramel Architekten

© Hertha Hurnaus
© Hertha Hurnaus

© Hertha Hurnaus © Hertha Hurnaus © Hertha Hurnaus Courtesy of Caramel Architekten

Library and Learning Centre University of Economics Vienna / Zaha Hadid Architects

  • Architects: Zaha Hadid Architects
  • Location: Vienna, Austria
  • Partners In Charge: Zaha Hadid, Patrik Schumacher
  • Project Architect: Cornelius Schlotthauer
  • Construction Project Team: Enrico Kleinke, Markus Planteu, Vincenco Cocomero, Peter Irmscher, Katharina Jacobi, Constanze Stinnes, Peter Hornung, Frédéric Beaupère, Mirjam Matthiessen, Marc-Philipp Nieberg, Tom Finke,Kristoph Nowak, Susanne Lettau, Jahann Shah Beyzavi, Florian Goscheff, Daniela Nenadic, Judith Wahle, Rassul Wassa, Julian Breinersdorfer, Nastasja Schlaf, Muhammed Patat, Elisabeth Dirnbacher
  • Competition Project Team: Cornelius Schlotthauer, Marc-Philipp Nieberg, Enrico Kleinke, Kristoph Nowak, Stefan Rinnebach, Romy Heiland, Richard Baumgartner
  • Area: 28000.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Roland Halbe, Iwan Baan

Model. Image  © Iwan Baan © Iwan Baan © Roland Halbe

A+U 525: Vienna Transition Of Theory And Expression

From the publisher. Between the late 19th century and early 20th century, Vienna was the epicenter of new architectural movements. Architects like Gottfried Semper, Otto Wagner, and Adolf Loos presented pioneering theories and expressions which influenced the world. Furthermore, cityscape of Vienna had been the subject of architects’ creation. They form the layers in Vienna’s urban structure, and architects who design in this city must interpret this structure and upon which further form new layers.

June 2014 issue of a+u  introduces the theories and their expressions of architecture in Vienna, and their transition from the pre-modern to the modern to the present, through 60+ newly-photographed works, two essays on “transformation of architectural expression through building facades” and “recent developments for urban expansion zones”, and interviews with contemporary architects.