On the sight of a former airfield a new city planned from scratch is being build to accommodate thousands of new people Vienna is expected to grow by in the upcoming decade. A city within the city basically. Seestadt translated in English means lake city and is named due to the artificial lake which will be in the center of the town. As to date there is not much to see besides the newly build metro station (the violet line U2), a lot of cranes and a giant mud hole in the middle (the lake to be). But especially at sunset the symphony of cranes has beauty on its own. There is also an exhibition worthwhile visiting with a lot of information about the project and a wooden panorama tower with a nice view (last picture). Local artists were allowed to spray the container in which the exhibition is happening, giving the place an urban flair already. Although the city itself is yet missing…
Impressions collected in late November around Prater and Donaucity.
Largely unnoticed the new university campus of the Economic University of Vienna (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien) was build in a rather remote part of the city. So most of us knew about the construction plans but little did we know about the futuristic character and the sheer extent of the sight. What a surprise! The campus consists of about 6 to 8 buildings constructed by different architects in different styles. In common they have a modern and environmental friendly approach. They are centered around a student plaza effectively creating a public space for its “citizens”. There are also a couple of cafés and shops there. One of them being the “Campus” (shot 4) with a mixed approach of modernism and natural elements consisting of wood and plants. The centerpiece of the campus is the library (as it should be). It was designed by an architect from Hamburg and is simply astonishing (shots 2 – 3 exterior, shots 7 – 9 interior).
The so called Prater is a huge park in the 2nd district of Vienna and just a rather small part of it is actually an amusement area. As a kid I loved going there, it was our small version of Disneyland without Micky. Interestingly the Prater didn’t change much since back in the 90s (still a lot of Spice Girls and bad techno music is played at the attractions astoundingly) and kids continue to love it. My first roller coaster ride was on the “Wilde Maus” (picture 2) and I will never forget how my father and me went lost within a house of horror, using a lighter to find the way out. Or how we used to got there on the 1st of May with friends. Always somewhere in the background was a construction of steel spinning around its axis with small red wagons attached to the outer frame. The beating heart of the park the so called “Riesenrad”. One of the oldest ferris wheels in Europe still standing and also one of the defining landmarks of Vienna (picture 5).
The Stadtpark of Vienna is the green lung of the city centre. It was inaugurated in 1862 as part of the redesign of the so called Glacis, the previously untilled area in front of the dismantled city walls of Vienna. The sight was planned in the English landscape style and architecturally enriched around 1900 when the Wienfluss, a river going trough the park, was finally regulated and the City Railway was build. You see the river on the second picture and the modern iteration of the City Railway, our Metro line number 4, on the third picture. It always amazes me how this piece of artificial nature is able to snatch you from the urban madness of a concrete jungle and calm you down almost immediately, may it be just for a couple of minutes. A green lung truly.