Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
25hours Hotel in Vienna, Austria by BWM Architekten und Partner
October 23rd, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: BWM Architekten und Partner
A hotel is a hotel is a hotel just for tourists. Wrong! The new 25hours Hotel, located near Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier, is by no means just a pretentious structure offering accommodation for a well-heeled foreign clientele. Since opening its doors in early 2013, this centrally located hotel has become a popular spot for all – especially for the locals, who appreciate the pizzeria, the Viennese “Schanigarten” with a special burger grill, and a cool rooftop café with a terrace.
The Viennese architecture firm BWM Architekten converted the former student residence in Vienna’s 7th district into a laid-back hotel in several stages for 25hours Hotel Company. Although this six-floor building with its uncompromising functionalist design was constructed as a student residence in 1969, it was initially used as office space by UNIDO until the organization was able to move into the newly built UNO City in Vienna’s 22nd district.
In 2009 the new operational concept was born and a modern glass cube designed to rest on top of the rational building. This roof structure, which draws upon the original building’s compact architecture and modifies it for today’s sensibilities, was opened in 2011. It provides enough room, not only for 35 individually designed apartments on three floors, but also for a café-bar with a terrace and a fabulous view.
In the second construction phase the existing building was revitalized and the façade was given a dramatic anthracite-colored look. The building is within walking distance of the popular MuseumsQuartier Wien and is – with its 219 rooms – the largest hotel of the German-owned 25hours Hotel Company to date.
The hotel’s opening marked BWM Architekten and 25hours Hotel Company’s successful completion of a sensitive urban project at a nodal point between the densely built 7th district and the historical 1st district. And it also marks the building’s revival and new lease on life.
At once col aond dramatic
In its capacity as the general planner for this project, BWM architecture firm was responsible for the overall reconstruction and extension of the student residence dating back to the 1970s and for designing a cool cube on the roof and a dramatic black façade, thereby giving the old building complex an attractive new appearance. The refurbished building is now a design hotel operated by the hotel group 25hours. The interior design was created by dreimeta, a German design office owned by Armin Fischer.
The new hotel’s most prominent architectural feature is the cubic glass roof structure consisting of three floors, which gives the building its special appearance. The façade of the glass cube is related to the compact structure and cubic shape of the existing building, thus forming a new contemporary synthesis. Spacious hotel suites and rooms are located on these top floors, offering a magnificent panorama view of the cityscape with the Parliament building and the historical Palais Trautson and Palais Auersberg. The building’s top floor has a large terrace with a publicly accessible café that can be reached by elevator directly from the park. Since opening in 2011 the café has developed into a popular spot for the Viennese population and international hotel guests.
After completion of the first construction phase, the second construction phase followed involving the existing Ushaped building structure that stretches all the way back to Mechitaristengasse. A patio and an outdoor area were created on the first basement story in order to ensure that the seminar and spa facilities located there have sufficient ventilation and natural light. The hotel has 219 rooms, 35 of which are suites located on the 6th and 7th floors.
The hotel can be reached centrally from Lerchenfeldertraße via a new lobby on the ground floor. The original washedconcrete façade was given a fresh new look with a coat of anthracite paint, whereby the somewhat forgotten building’s visibility and attractiveness was enhanced.
For BWM Architekten this project represents a contribution towards a more differentiated treatment of existent modern architecture within an urban context. Moreover, it is a tribute to the quality and significance of pragmatism in late functionalism.
History of the project
In 1969 the six-floor reinforced concrete structure designed by the Austrian architect Kurt Schlauss in a functionalist style was erected for use as a students’ hostel, but was then in fact initially occupied by UNIDO, which had its offices there until the UNO City complex was completed.
After the UN organization moved to its new home in Vienna’s 22nd district, the building was run as a students’ hostel up until its conversion and even kept operations up and running throughout the first conversion phase from 2009 to 2011 – an immense challenge for the architects in terms of organization and planning.
When the roof structure was completed in 2011, this part of the building, which houses the suites and the rooftop bar, began its hotel operations for the first time. After the students moved out in 2011, the existing building underwent a comprehensive renovation, which was completed in 2013. It was adapted to meet the highest structural and technical standards, without compromising its original physiognomy. The façade was insulated from the inside and given an almost black look to freshen it up on the outside.
The hotel’s opening in April 2013 marked the conclusion of this sensitive project, which is located in a prominent spot between the heavily built-up 7th district and the historical 1st district.
About BWM Architekten
The Vienna-based architecture firm BWM Architekten und Partner was founded in 2004 and is run by Erich Bernard, Daniela Walten, Johann Moser and Markus Kaplan. Currently, the team consists of approx. 30 people from the fields of architecture, interior design, sculpture, landscape planning, industrial design and marketing. Different educational backgrounds, various approaches and interests enable them to operate within a wide range of tasks.
BWM Architekten specializes mainly in the following three fields: structural engineering and architecture within an urban context, exhibition and museum planning as well as interior design. In recent years, many new residential buildings have also been realized, the most recent example being a newly constructed subsidized residential complex at Kreitnergasse in the16th district of Vienna.
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