A Choreography of Speed

New U5 metro line in Vienna

1st prize, with yf Architekten

We have developed a timeless and elegant design concept for the U5 metro line, which can be adapted to the local conditions. The U5 will be Vienna’s first fully automated metro line with trains travelling without a driver. Our ambition was to create an inviting and bright environment in which passengers feel secure and comfortable. The guiding design motif is “accelerating and braking”.



Wiener Linien GmbH & Co KG


In Progress


1. Preis

»Five kilometres, eight new stations, and 120,000 passengers each day!«

Wiener Linien

In light of the climate change, an efficient public transportation network is the order of the day. It reduces dependency on private vehicles and ensures both the greatest freedom of movement and short distances in the constantly growing metropolis of Vienna. Otto Wagner’s world-famous Jugendstil buildings for the Stadtbahn urban railway and the designs for Vienna’s metro lines from the 1970s combine functionality with high aesthetic standards, and they still perfectly serve their purpose to this day. The creative ambitions of our predecessors were inspiration for our design of the new U5 metro line, which we aim to afford the same timeless, functional, and aesthetic qualities.

»The new design concept for the U5 is great!«

Renate Brauner, former deputy mayor of Vienna

Flexible system

In the first phase the U5 will take over the platforms of the existing U2 metro stations Karlsplatz, Museumsquartier, Volkstheater and Rathaus, and initially run to Frankhplatz in the university district. It will be extended to Elterleinplatz in the 17th district in the following years. When it is completed, the U5 will be five kilometres long, with eight new stations, and accommodate 120,000 passengers each day. It will be the first fully automated metro line in Vienna with trains travelling without a driver. All U5 stations will be equipped with special platform doors, which we developed exclusively for the project. In a survey the Viennese chose turquoise as the identifying colour of the new line. Our guiding design motif is “accelerating and braking”. In the station buildings above ground level “clasps” varying in width are placed at different distances apart. We can respond to the specific location by flexibly alternating the rhythm of these clasps: small/large, wide/narrow, short/long.

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

»The design concept is minimalist and elegant at the same time.«

Wiener Linien

Clarity instead of pomp

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. 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.

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

Robert Diem, Franz&Sue partner

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. By using only a few different materials, the focus remains on the essentials. 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. Hence, the stations of the new line bear a unifying signature, provide effective orientation, optimise the flow of traffic and passengers, are barrier-free, and reduce pollution to a minimum. A new chapter in the rich history of Vienna’s metro design has begun.

»Wherever possible we ensured that the passageways are naturally lit.«

Markus Bösch, YF partner

Floor plan 1st basement floor

Floor plan 2nd basement floor



Site plan

Type Of Commission

offener Wettbewerb


Wiener Linien GmbH & Co KG



Scope Of Commission

Gesamte Planung




In Progress


seit 2015


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


1. Preis

Structural Engineer

Ingenieurbüro ste.p,

Potyka & Partner,

IGT Geotechnik und Tunnelbau

Building Physics

Mag. Wolfgang Hebenstreit

Building Services

TFD Consulting Engineer,

Gawaplan Haustechnische Anlagen,

IB Pichler - Ingenieurbüro für Elektrotechnik

Other Cooperation

Arge Partner Tiefbau:

Ingenieurbüro ste.p,

Potyka & Partner,

IGT Geotechnik und Tunnelbau