On 16 September 1970 the new international press centre at Wien-Heiligenstadt, IPZ for short, was officially and ceremoniously inaugurated by Austrian president Franz Jonas. Built by the Austrian Press Agency (APA) in co-operation with the Vienna real estate company Ekazent, the IPZ has been a prestigious property for more than 30 years. It was home to the APA and several other international media agencies such as the German Press Agency DPA and the news agencies of China, Iran and Iraq. Also located in the APA Tower were TV stations such as Germany’s ZDF and Italy’s RAI as well as a branch office of a bank.
The 13-storey high media centre in Döbling, located in Vienna’s 19th district, was built between 1968 and 1970 to plans by the renowned architect Kurt Hlaweniczka. The tower, with its 7000 square metres of floor space, was used as an office building for 35 years, until 2005. The building’s fate was sealed when the principal tenant, APA, relocated. Thereafter, the tower remained empty and almost forgotten for more than ten years. In 2013 its owner, the UNIQA insurance group, decided to sell the decaying ghost tower to the renowned Viennese architect Heinz Neumann.
Afer more than ten years of vacancy and several proposals for its new use, the IPZ remains empty. New plans are still in progress, with demolition and a new build just as much a possibility as complete refurbishment. Over the last few years, plans have been put forward for a student hostel, serviced apartments, a loft, a start-up centre, and a new building for medical purposes. More recently, the architect has complained of a lack of co-operation from the City of Vienna’s administration. In particular, he has blamed building regulations, the lack of a metro station and the slow progress of the urban development area known as the Stadtquartier Muthgasse around the ghost tower for IPZ’s continued vacancy. In early August 2018 the owner, Heinz Neumann, announced that construction work would get underway in 2019, even if details of what is actually supposed to happen remain sketchy: either demolition and a new build or renovation and repurposing.
Text by Joshua Koeb
1970 Mixed: office building for international media agencies and TV stations, bank
1970 APA and EKAZENT
2018 Architect Heinz Neumann (HNP architects ZT GmbH)
Form of government
1970 Parliamentary Republic
2018 Parliamentary Republic
Spatial Planning Agency
Type of heritage and protection
2018 Not recognised as heritage
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