The University of Vienna:
Aweso Scalo mono/duo

Friday, 19. July 2013

A successful architectural symbiosis of historic old buildings and their adaptation to current safety regulations


The University of Vienna was founded by Duke Rudolf IV in 1365. It is the oldest university in the region that is home to German language and culture and is also one of the biggest universities in Central Europe. The University of Vienna currently has around 91,000 students and almost 9,000 employees, making it the biggest university in Austria and one of the biggest in Central Europe.


At the Universitätsring campus near Vienna City Hall, the buildings are characterised by a complex in the classical style with several inner courtyards. The heritage listed complex required a variety of fire safety and evacuation route measures to be taken on account of its historic construction. The historic structure also makes it more difficult to make adaptations that cater to the needs of people with disabilities. Consequently, an EU tender covering all of the safety measures was announced.

The winning architecture office DI Palme ZT GmbH was instructed with the planning and project management. The disability-appropriate access and evacuation concept is based on stairwell and lift towers in the atrium courtyards, which are designed as a centrally arranged load-bearing concrete structure with the escape stairs arranged concentrically around them.


The façade was suspended via projecting arms to which delicate tension rods are mounted. These support a preassembled, scaled glass façade made from 16 mm-thick laminated safety glass. The lift shafts were connected in a smaller, parallel tower to the link bridges between the main building and the stair tower.

Discreet, recessed lighting with coloured light underscores the overall filigree structure and lends the modern ensemble a stage-like setting in the atriums of this historic complex of university buildings.


This extension was constructed between autumn 2011 and autumn 2012. The façade was constructed by the company Ma-Tec, Neutal, Burgenland, Austria.

The scaled glass façade was fixed using the proven AwesoScalo mono/duo clamping system.