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The chemistry’s right

IST Austria Chemistry Lab in Klosterneuburg, Lower Austria

EU-wide, non-open competition, 1st prize, in collaboration with Maurer&Partner GmbH

IST Austria Chemistry Lab in Klosterneuburg

Part of the process

Still a relatively young institution, the Institute of Science and Technology Austria (IST Austria) conducts basic research in the field of the natural sciences as well as offering post-graduate courses. The institute sees itself as a leading research facility with top-level scientists.

In the IST grounds in Klosterneuburg near Vienna new buildings for a total of ninety international research groups are to be erected by 2026, stage by stage. One of these is our building, LAB5, which contains chemistry research laboratories as well as a library and graduate school. 

This project convinced us with its strong idea and a clear, reduced architecture of real quality.

Excerpt from the jury statement

We are part of the process: the site of the existing neighbouring café, our stepped library and the new chemistry building grow together to form a large, joint whole. Rather than using separate, small-scaled structures a form is developed on the site that provides stability and offers a home to researchers who come here from all around the world.

IST Austria Chemistry Lab in Klosterneuburg

Meeting place with a view

The stepped building follows the slope of the site. Together with the large shared terrace in front of them the library and café form an attractive public area; containing and defining the open space of the suburbs in a grand gesture they create an urban meeting place.

The architecture shows that the more complex a task is, the simpler the solution must be.

Excerpt from the jury statement

Our response to the complex program of spaces that includes research labs, rooms for high-tech nuclear magnetic resonance equipment and the facilities described above was to offer as simple a solution as possible, one which ensures that people enjoy being here.

At ground-floor level a public square defined on three sides offers students and teachers a central meeting and communication space next to the small river Marbach and provides the ensemble as a whole with a centre that gives it a clear identity.

The car-parking deck is a covered continuation of the terraces, creating new routes that offer expansive views of the lovely surroundings. 

IST Austria Chemistry Lab in Klosterneuburg
Ground floor

Horizontal and vertical

The entire complex of buildings is accessed vertically and horizontally through the connecting ‘terraced building’. The flights of steps linking the upper and the lower square across a 13-metre difference in level offer students, teachers and staff an agreeable place to sit, study, read and meet. 

We conceived a transition that would be both functional and harmonious, simple and easy to grasp in terms of organisation.


The lift in the foyer can also be used outside of library opening times ensuring barrier-free access. 


IST Austria Chemistry Lab in Klosterneuburg

Enlightening environment

The library that extends through three storeys has galleries, views through the building and large ribbon windows. A continuous environment for study and reading is created that is both welcoming and generous. The bright central foyer at the interface of the library and the lab building is the junction between practice and theory. The different storeys are fronted by terraces that provide a fine connection to outdoor space and offer views of the surrounding Vienna Woods.

A design without arrogance. With its openness and generous quality it strengthens the communicative, interdisciplinary identity of the IST Austria.

Excerpt from the jury statement
IST Austria Chemistry Lab in Klosterneuburg

Laboratory spaces and technology

We articulated the large chemistry lab building functionally and in an extremely simple way.

You have to properly understand the nature of the building commission.


The client wanted to be able to use the spaces flexibly. All the laboratories are arranged above each other on floors 1 to 3. This considerably simplifies the service runs in these high-tech areas. As they face north, the laboratories are protected from direct sunlight and will engage in a dialogue with the buildings to be erected nearby in the course of the next development stages

[EN] IST Austria Chemistry Lab in Klosterneuburg
2nd floor
[EN] IST Austria Chemistry Lab in Klosterneuburg
3rd floor

[EN] IST Austria Chemistry Lab in Klosterneuburg
Site plan


Type of commission

EU-weit offenes Verhandlungsverfahren

Scope of commission

Generalplanung in Arge mit Maurer&Partner GmbH




Land Niederösterreich




seit 2017




In Bearbeitung

Net usable floor area

13.140 m²

Gross floor area

14.960 m²

Building costs

35,0 Mio. €


Björn Haunschmid-Wakolbinger (PL), David Schiefer, Bernd Stuffer, David Huber, Philipp Wenzl, Joshua Meighörner, Anastasija Ilic, Anderas Miguel Mayer


Structural engineer

Woschitz Engineering ZT GmbH

Building physics

RWT Plus ZT GmbH

Building services

InPlan Ingenieure GmbH

Landscape planning

EGKK Landschaftsarchitektur

Fire safety planning

FSE Ruhrhofer & Schweitzer GmbH

Medical technology

VAMED Standortentwicklung und Engineering GmbH