Initial plans for a huge federal office building, the so-called Bundesamtsgebäude (BAG), located in the area of the city known as ‘Erdberg’ in Vienna’s 3rd municipal district ‘Landstrasse’ were first made in 1978. A large building site of some 17,000 square metres near the main thoroughfare was the perfect place to erect the building, guaranteeing enough space and excellent access.
Due to public-sector and future tenant structure considerations a number of parties, such as the federal chancellery and the national archives, were involved in the planning and building process between 1981 and 1987. The reinforced concrete building was finally planned and built by the principal architects Franz Requat and Thomas Reinthaller, in co-operation with other architects. The total cost amounted to around ATS 4,700,000,000, i.e. approximately EUR 350,000,000 today.
After completion and until 2013 the main tenant of the building complex was the financial authority. During the period of vacancy that followed, parts of the building were used as temporary accommodation for refugees in 2014. Shortly thereafter, a section of the building spanning some 17,000 square metres, with 239 offices and 32 halls, was adapted for the newly established federal administrative court (Bundesverwaltungsgericht – BVwG). It is the largest court in Austria, with more than 400 employees and some 220 judges.
Another major institution, Austria’s national archives (Österreichisches Staatsarchiv), moved into the southwest section of the building characterised by its differing façade design. This is the section of the new complex that was finished first. The grand opening took place on 28 April 1988, at which Federal Chancellor Franz Vranitzky officially inaugurated the new headquarters of the national archives. An interesting detail is a fact that the construction of the building was part of a huge corruption scandal involving offshore companies and construction works not put out to public tender by the contractor Julius Eberhardt.
Besides the financial authority and the national archives, other tenants include a federal finance academy (Bundesfinanzakademie) and a customs training facility (Zollwachschule). Also located on the second floor of the building complex, to this day, is a secondary college for ball sports (Ballsportgymnasium).
Text by Joshua Koeb
*Franz Requat, Thomas Reinthaller, Zoltan Egyed (architects), Rudolf Kedl (sculptor)
1987Mixed: Finanzamt (tax office), Bundesfinanzakademie (federal financial academy), Zollwachschule (customs training facility), Österreichisches Staatsarchiv (national archives)
2018 Mixed: Bundesverwaltungsgericht (national administrative court), Österreichisches Staatsarchiv (national archives), Ballsportgymnasium (ball sports college)
1987 Republik Österreich
2018 Republik Österreich
1987 Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG)
2018 Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG)
Form of government
1987 Parliamentary Republic
2018 Parliamentary Republic
Spatial Planning Agency
Type of heritage and protection
2018 Not recognised as heritage
Interview with Anna K.
Interview with Herwig U.
Interview with Peter M.