Zaha Hadid’s Library and Learning Centre opened last week in the city’s second district, one of seven buildings that make up the new campus of Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, the Vienna University of Economics and Business.
The most distinctive feature of Hadid’s 28,000-square-metre building is a large black volume perched over the roof that cantilevers out over a public square at the main entrance. The structure houses the main library, as well as function rooms and an elevated cafe, and is clad externally in fibreC glass fibre-reinforced concrete panels from Austrian manufacturer Rieder. To contrast, the rest of the building is finished in white fibreC panels and accommodates the non-public areas, including classrooms, an auditorium, workspaces and offices.
“The glassfibre concrete elements were able to meet all the requirements of the star architect, including aesthetics, material quality and the challenge of implementing the design of a slightly curved building cubature with curved concrete panels.” says Rieder. “The slender, 13-mm thick panels are dyed throughout during manufacturing. In addition, the rough, sandblasted surface lends the facade a special depth and a homogeneous look and counteracts ageing processes.”