Dominique Perrault Architecture has inaugurated the tallest building in Austria, the iconic DC Tower 1 in Vienna, with an undulating “folded façade”.
“From the start the project offered a site with incredible potential: an open terrain, facing Imperial Vienna, embedded in the geography of the Danube, lying on a plateau on the river’s eastern bank, like a bridgehead to two Viennas.” says the architect. “But the site was not virgin territory as several previous projects had been conceived for it. So there was a conceptual ‘already there’, a thoroughly fascinating virtuality.”
“Very early on, what kindled my interest most in this site was the bridgehead with the rest of the Donau City district, with the river banks but also the conditions for breathing life into a public space on an esplanade. We took advantage of this commission to design a genuine entry gate to Donau City.”
“Reversing objectives for earlier development projects envisaged here, WED specifications called for a decidedly mixed-use program, an indispensable condition for germinating the contemporary urban vibration we were proposing to create in and around the towers.”
“The towers function as two pieces of a gigantic monolith that seems to have split into two unequal halves, which then open to create an arch with undulating and shimmering façades that bring the newly created public space to life in the void created there. Dancing on their platform, the towers are slightly oriented toward the river to open a dialogue with the rest of the city, turning their backs on no one, neither the historic nor the new Vienna.”
“Today, the first of the two towers is up and the result is quite amazing, thanks notably to the invaluable collaboration of the Hoffmann-Janz architecture office. The visual qualities of the folded façade create a new way to read the skyline of Donau City, its undulations signaling the entry point of this new polarity. The folds contrast with the no-nonsense rigor of the other three façades, creating a tension that electrifies the public space at the tower’s base.”
“The façade’s folds give the tower a liquid, immaterial character, a malleability constantly adapting to the light, a reflection or an event. For interior spaces, on the other hand, with Gaëlle Lauriot-Prévost, the associate designer, we have tried to make the building very physical and present. The structure is not hidden, does not evade the eye. The exposed concrete framework is touchable. Stone and metal used in lobbies and circulations contribute to the tower’s generous and reassuring physicality.”
“With this first tower the city of Vienna has demonstrated that the punctual and controlled emergence of high-rises can participate in creating the city and produce contemporary, economical, high-energy performance mixed-use buildings adapted to metropolitan business requirements and lifestyles.”