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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

University of Innsbruck in Austria by ATP architects engineers

September 25th, 2017 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: ATP architects engineers

As a result of its victory in an EU-wide realization competition, ATP was commissioned to plan the refurbishment and remodeling of the Faculties of Architecture and Engineering Science of the University of Innsbruck.

The integrated concept proposed two highly contrasting approaches to the design of the two similarly structured buildings – which date from 1969 – as a means of responding to the different spatial and user requirements of the two disciplines (architecture and engineering). The suspended glass façade of the “Architecture Workshop” is playfully open whereas the precise, smooth high-rise silhouette of the Faculty of Engineering Science speaks another language while also acting as a landmark for the campus.

Image Courtesy © ATP/Jantscher

  • Architects: ATP architects engineers (Innsbruck)
  • Project: University of Innsbruck
  • Location: Innsbruck, Austria
  • Photography: ATP/Jantscher
  • Client: Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m.b.H.
  • Certification: 2015, TQB Certificate, Austrian Sustainable Building Council (ÖGNB); klima aktiv-Standard Gold, The Austrian Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management; EnerPHit-Standard Passivhaus
  • Lead Project Manager: Hans Kotek
  • Project Leader Design: Paul Ohnmacht
  • Competition: 2009, 1st Prize
  • Gross Built Area: 36,200 m² (of which 12,800 m² Faculty of Architecture, 19,300 m² Faculty of Engineering Science)
  • Gross Built Volume: 138,200 m³
  • Completion: 07/2014, 02/2015

Image Courtesy © ATP/Jantscher

Alongside these architectural aspects, the project also required the development of a number of new technical solutions as well as the complete refurbishment of the building services (thermal, electrical and fire protection systems and escape routes) for both the main and the ancillary buildings of the two faculties.

Image Courtesy © ATP/Jantscher

Image Courtesy © ATP/Jantscher


The remodeling of the complex seeks to counter the uniformity of the two existing buildings by clearly addressing the context from both an educational and an architectural standpoint

The engineers’ building is designed as a powerful “tower”, a compact building whose clean, flush façade enhances its role as a symbol for the entire area.

The architecture faculty, on the other hand, is playfully open and has a lively and differentiated character. It provides a clear contract with the tranquil appearance of the precise engineering tower without detracting from the appearance of the ensemble. The learning center and generous foyer at ground floor level underline the campus-like character of the complex.

Image Courtesy © ATP/Jantscher

Image Courtesy © ATP/Jantscher


The glazed scales of the outer envelope of the “Architecture Workshop” act as a stable, sustainable solar protection to the building which defies Innsbruck’s strong winds. The use of a solar protective film reduces the danger of overheating in summer while enabling users of the building to view the surrounding area as if they are looking through sunglasses. ATP and a window manufacturer joined forces to develop a prototype for a shadable opening window capable of fulfilling the architectural, environmental and technical requirements of the tower of the Faculty of Engineering Science. This intelligent window promotes the creation of a dense and compact low-tech building which meets “Passive Building Refurbishment Standards” as defined by EnerPHit regulations.

Image Courtesy © ATP/Jantscher

Image Courtesy © ATP/Jantscher

Sustainability – Ecology

“BIGMODERN” is a modernization initiative of the client, the Bundesimmobilien-gesellschaft m.b.H., for government buildings built between the 1950s and the 1980s.

The aim of this initiative is to develop sustainability and climate standards for the refurbishment of the public buildings of the post-war era.

As well as being a “Haus der Zukunft” project the general refurbishment of Innsbruck’s Faculty of Engineering Science is one of two “BIGMODERN” demonstration objects which are being used to control the practicability of the target criteria. These criteria will then be adopted as important guiding principles for the design and execution of all the BIG’s future modernization projects.

Image Courtesy © ATP architects engineers

Certifications And Awards

The general refurbishment of the Faculty of Engineering Science of the University of Innsbruck was awarded a TQB (Total Quality Building) certificate by the Austrian Sustainable Building Council (ÖGNB). This makes it Austria’s second-best refurbished office building.

Refurbished to passive house standards, the tower and ancillary buildings have a HWB of 4.0 kWh/m3 and received 917 of the 1,000 available quality points – as well as the maximum number of points in the “health & comfort” and “materials & construction” categories.

Image Courtesy © ATP architects engineers

The Federal Ministry for Agriculture, Forestry, Environment and Water Management awarded the building klima aktiv Gold Standard with 1,000 from 1,000 quality points.
The specially developed windows with their natural ventilation and wind-resistant shading also ensured that the tower met the EnerPhit standard for refurbishment to passive house level.


2015: Nomination “Constructive Alps 2015”

2016: Energy Globe Tirol; “Innovative Building 2016”

2017: Nomination “Austrian State Prize”

Image Courtesy © ATP architects engineers

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Categories: University, University Building

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