You’ve surely heard of Zaha Hadid, she’s one of the greatest contemporary architects, famous for her bizarre angled buildings and for practically giving architectural geometry a new identity. Unfortunately she died in 2016 at only 65, but has left behind such a special cultural legacy.
We wanted for a long time now to see one of her buildings with our own eyes, but kept failing. We didn’t get to see the Olympics Aquatic Centre while in London, and last year when we were in Rome we meant to take a quick detour and go see the MAXXI Museum, but we just didn’t have time. So when we planned our short trip to Vienna in June we decided not to miss her building there!
The Zaha Hadid Library and Learning Centre
Zaha Hadid designed the Library of the University of Economics campus in Vienna. A very bold building, definitely a head-turner, and we really wouldn’t expect otherwise. The greatest news is that you can visit it for free and it’s right next to the Prater. The interiors are even more fascinating than the outside, with a very futuristic geometry, inclined walls, unexpected curves, mismatched windows and a fluidity you wouldn’t expect in such a “sharp” building. Someone described the interior as a canyon formed by powerful floods going through it. Right on spot I would say!
Built in 2013, the entire campus is very special and has many structures designed by big architecture studios (read more about it here and here). But the star of the campus is definitely the library, everything seems to be built around it. Read more about the library here.
How to visit the Zaha Hadid Library in Vienna
The University campus is right next to the Prater and it’s called Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (here on google maps), it’s reachable by just walking from the Prater park. You can walk through the campus and enter the library (which is here on google maps), there is no restriction and no cost. I am not entirely sure what the other buildings are or if you can visit them, but I assure you they are just as interesting on the outside!
We were really blown away by how magnificent the library is! We’ve seen some futuristic works before, Frank Gehry’s museum in Bilbao comes to mind, but I don’t know, this was just so different and daring! I can’t possibly understand how someone thinks of and designs this kind of spaces! Anyway, I’m so grateful to have finally seen a Zaha Hadid structure, I really appreciated it and now I can’t wait to see another one.
You might also be interested in:
- Wotruba Church: Brutalist architecture in Vienna
- Hotel Daniel in Vienna – an urban stay with industrial vibes
- Reading Between the Lines – the church that dissolves into the landscape
- The City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, an architectural masterpiece
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