The Universitätszentrum (UZA) is situated north of the Franz-Josefs-Bahnhof railway station, part of a large housing complex covering the freight station. Today, the entire area consists of an urban development site some 2.4 hectares in size under the management of Municipal Department MA 21 Urban Planning and Zoning (Stadtteilplanung und Flächennutzung). A spatial model for further development was drawn up and implemented by the Stadtentwicklungskommission (STEK) in 2017, as part of a citizens’ participation scheme.
As the rear section of the complex, the Universitätszentrum—with its distinctive and expressive glass façade—was built between 1976 and 1982 to plans by the renowned architects Kurt Hlaweniczka, Karl Schwanzer, Harry Glück, Thomas Reinthaller and Franz Requat. It consists of four different sections, specifically UZA 1, UZA 2, UZA 3 and UZA 4. The last section was originally built as an office building for the post office service in 1986; it was incorporated into the Universitätszentrum in 2003.
For the next ten years, the Universitätszentrum was home to the Vienna University of Economics and Business Administration (WU) and the Mathematics Faculty. When the WU relocated to Vienna’s Prater area in 2013, the building provided interim premises for other institutions like the Biology Centre (UZA 1), the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (Boku), the Technical University (TU), the Academy for Applied Arts and the Geography and Pharmacy Centre of the University of Vienna (both in UZA 2).
Over the last few years several plans for future uses, such as residential apartments, were put forward. During this process, the UZA 4 was sold to the real estate development group 6B47 Real Estate Investors AG, which also owns the nearby Franz-Josef-Bahnhof. Between 2016 and 2018 the building was renovated and transformed into a 240 apartment building known as the Althan Park.
The three other buildings are still owned by the real estate company of the Republic of Austria, the Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG). UZA 3 was remodelled in 2015 to house Vienna’s Labour and Social Court (Arbeits- und Sozialgericht Wien). Due to ongoing space requirements UZA 1 and UZA 2 will function as interim premises at least until 2020. Future plans for renovation, demolition or rebuild remain vague. According to the owner, the two properties will continue to function as education centres.
Text by Joshua Koeb
1986Public programme: university
2018 Mixed: transition quarter for various universities
1986 Republik Österreich
2018 Republik Österreich, 6B47 Real Estate Investors AG
1986 Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG)
2018 Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG)
Form of government
1986 Parliamentary Republic
2018 Parliamentary Republic
Spatial Planning Agency
2018 MA 21 Stadtteilplanung und Flächennutzung
Type of heritage and protection
2018 Not recognised as heritage
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