Taking research to the next level
Vienna University Biology Centre, St. Marx
Urban design and architecture
By making three volumes above a shared plinth storey the complex program of spaces is structured into smaller volumes.
The prominent covered entrance area faces towards the less busy Viehmarktgasse and is close to a tram and bus stop. Visual contact with the campus of the Vienna Biocenter encourages exchange between these two facilities
Inside, protected atriums offer quiet outdoor spaces where students and teachers can relax. As they are centrally positioned, together with the foyer and the large lecture halls these planted courtyards can also be used to host events.
From the foyer you can directly reach the cafeteria and the student service centre on the ground floor and the administration and library at first floor level.
A main thoroughfare running parallel to Schlachthausgasse leads to the most frequented areas of the building and to the controlled access points to the clusters and shared labs.
The public areas of the general teaching facility together with the seminar rooms face onto Schlachthausgasse. Generously dimensioned study and communication zones are positioned between the teaching spaces. The labs of the special teaching facility on the first floor are placed at the interface to the clusters and are easily accessed from the main thoroughfare.
Research units / Clusters
Located above the public areas, the clusters are distributed among the three different volumes. Clusters 1 and 4 each occupy a storey in the southern volume, cluster 2 is in the central volume, while cluster 3 occupies the northern building.
The ring-like basic structure creates short routes and allows each of the floor levels to be divided up flexibly.
The laboratories and offices that need daylight are positioned along the external facades, while the rooms that do not require daylight face inwards. The courtyards ensure that the upper floors receive sufficient light to enable them to be used for workspaces.
Shared Labs / Service supplies and removals
The shared labs are laid out along the south-eastern boundary of the site, in the basement and at ground floor and first floor level, and are directly connected with all the clusters by three central vertical circulation points.
Site topography allows to access the supply and disposal area at basement level, which is protected from the weather and screened from view, via a short ramp. Together with the rooms for building services and special areas in the shared labs the entire building can be serviced from the basement without crossing any other areas.
Deliveries to the cafeteria are made from Viehmarktgasse, near the existing entrance to the underground garage.