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Vienna’s central railway station was only completed in 2014 and at the moment building works are in full swing right next to it. The new-build area – dubbed Quartier Belvedere with reference to the near-by Belvedere Palace – is the upshot of an urban-planning anomaly whereby two railway stations, Vienna South and Vienna East, used to be situated side by side over a vast area of ground there. A large plot was freed up for redevelopment and rebuilding when they were pulled down and replaced by a single central railway station for transport provision purposes. The city opted for a mixed residential, commercial and leisure quarter. The area has a key urban-planning role to play in linking up several boroughs that border it.
Henke Schreieck opened up the Swiss Garden side in their competition entry and both spatially and visually transplanted the park opposite into the interior of the new campus. The architects set store by creating special spaces – both inside and out. The main issue inside concerned providing equal-status workstations for all employees. The Erste Bank campus accommodates just about all the bank’s Viennese employees at a single location and the architecture is such that all workstations are sited at windows and offer differing views of the city. The individual buildings describe various kinds of single or double arcs and make a particularly organic impact as a collective entity.
A multifarious spatial landscape has taken shape between the individual structures that is partly open to the public and creates a line of transit from the park towards the central railway station. The various units are connected up and inter-accessed via a twin-storey atrium. Door and window handles in Stainless Steel Satin Matt were fitted that harmonise with finely crafted finishes and coatings. Reasons of quality and functionality led the architects to select two FSB handle models in Stainless Steel notable for their ruggedness and timeless elegance.
Photos: Werner Huthmacher