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Right on track

New U5 metro line in Vienna

EU-wide open, two-stage competition, 1st prize, with yf Architekten

New U5 metro line in Vienna

Efficient public transportation networks were the key to the modernisation of the city. The situation today is no different. Otto Wagner’s world-famous Jugendstil buildings for the Stadtbahn urban railway in Vienna were extraordinarily modern for their time. They combined functionality with aesthetic quality and essentially still work well today.

The new design concept for the U5 is great!

Renate Brauner, deputy mayor of Vienna

The old Stadtbahn viaduct that runs along the Gürtel ring road but also the recent extension of the U2 line offer compelling evidence of the high design quality of public transport buildings in Vienna. This makes us all the happier that, together with yf Architekten, we won the competition to design the new U5 line, giving us a chance to follow in the footsteps our visionary fellow Viennese architects.

New U5 metro line in Vienna

Flexible system

From 2023 the new U5 metro line will run between the stations Karlsplatz and Rathaus in the city centre and will be extended to Elterleinplatz in the 17th district in the following years. The U5 will be the first metro line in Vienna to be completely automated, with trains travelling without a driver. In a survey conducted in the run-up to the project the Viennese chose turquoise as the identifying colour of the new line.

A design system that functions everywhere and can be adapted as required.


Accelerating and braking is our guiding design motif. In the station buildings above ground level ‘clasps’ that vary in width are placed at different distances apart. We can respond to the specific location by flexibly varying the rhythm of these clasps: small/large, wide/narrow, short/long.

New U5 metro line in Vienna

Narrative of speed

The basic structural elements are made of steel clad with white-coated sheet aluminium. The glazing is fitted between these elements. On the long sides of the building an angled fold is made at a different height in each of these ‘arches’. The stations appear light, inviting, friendly, and bright and inscribe a kind of ‘narrative of speed’ into public space.

We have translated the idea of accelerating and decelerating into architecture.


Our design for the ground level and underground U5 stations meets all the many technical demands and official regulations. We were not interested in spectacular gestures, but in a minimalist formal language that uses a vocabulary consisting of just light and shade, bright and dark, and few materials (granite, sheet steel, brushed stainless steel, aluminium panels), with turquoise as the only decorative colour.

New U5 metro line in Vienna

Safe, bright, self-explanatory

In a project of this kind a directional system that is as self-explanatory as possible is vital and, ultimately, also a question of safety; the same applies to ensuring clearly defined, open routes and spaces so that both the passengers and station staff feel at ease.

Wherever possible we ensured that the passageways are naturally lit.

Friederike Dammass, project manager at Franz&Sue

The floors and stairs are of honed and flamed granite. The ceilings are made from enamelled aluminium panels in two colours, some of which are smooth, while others are perforated in order to optimise the acoustics. For the wall cladding and the seating elements we used enamelled sheet steel panels. The railings and handrails, along with the arms and backs of the seating elements, are of brushed stainless steel.

We are delighted that our generation of architects has been given an opportunity to continue the long and illustrious tradition of building for the metro in Vienna.

New U5 metro line in Vienna

New U5 metro line in Vienna
Site plan

New U5 metro line in Vienna
1st basement floor

New U5 metro line in Vienna
2nd basement floor


Type of commission

offener Wettbewerb

Scope of commission

Gesamte Planung




Wiener Linien GmbH & Co KG




seit 2015




In Bearbeitung


Lukas Föger (PL), Friederike Dammaß, Michael Schneller, Anna Ladurner, David Schiefer, Christian Szalay, Dominik Stangl, Simon Frey, Florian Haim, Josef Kern


Structural engineer

Ingenieurbüro ste.p ZT GmbH,
Potyka & Partner ZT GmbH,
IGT Geotechnik und Tunnelbau ZT GmbH

Building physics

Mag. Wolfgang Hebenstreit

Building services

TFD Consulting Engineer e.U.,
Gawaplan Haustechnische Anlagen Gesellschaft mbH,
IB Pichler - Ingenieurbüro für Elektrotechnik


Arge Partner Tiefbau:
Ingenieurbüro ste.p ZT GmbH,
Potyka & Partner ZT GmbH,
IGT Geotechnik und Tunnelbau ZT GmbH