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Monday, 10 March 2014 12:31cat

Austria’s Tallest Building Officially Opens

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The DC Tower 1 was officially opened last week The DC Tower 1 was officially opened last week Michael Nagl

The DC Tower 1, located along the Danube River in Vienna, Austria, officially opened last week and became the country’s tallest building. Construction on the smaller DC Tower 2 will begin shortly and will be completed in two years. The two towers are part of the Donau City project that has been transforming the Donube riverfront in Vienna over the last 20 years.

An international competition was held in 2002 to select a developer to design and build two skyscrapers for Donau City. Developer WED won the competition and chose to use French architect Dominique Perrault to design the two towers. Perrault is well known for his design of the French National Library and he currently runs his own architecture firm out of Paris. The ground breaking for the first tower took place in June 2010, several years later than originally planned due to the global financial crisis. After three years, the 820-foot, 60-story DC Tower 1 was completed in the fall of 2013. The design required 20,000 tons of steel and 110,000 cubic meters of concrete. The distinguishing feature of the building is its one side with folded glass panels that weave in and out along the length of the tower. Perrault spoke at the unveiling about his desire to design a structure that would become a landmark but not ignore the city’s architectural past. 

The 92 feet wide by 194 feet long structure will provide over 93,600 square meters of space above ground for its various tenants. The building will contain shops and a hotel on the lower levels and then will transition to office space and loft residential units on the upper floors. Baxter International is one of the largest tenants of the two towers. Construction on the second building will begin shortly, and it will top out at 551 feet. It is designed to look like it was torn away from the first tower in an unequal section. A piazza will separate the two buildings, and Perrault hopes the two towers will act as an entrance gate for the city district farther inland.
Click here to see photos of the DC Tower 1.

For several decades in the late 20th century the concept of Donau City failed to gain traction with the public.  However, in the 1990s Vienna city officials finally began selling its citizens on the idea of developing the “city within the city” located in Vienna’s 22nd District. Eight new buildings were constructed in Donau City in the 1990s, and new projects have continued to receive approval. The city planners would like to have office and commercial use of up to 70 percent, a residential use of about 20 percent, and cultural and Freitzeiteinrichtungen of approximately 10 percent of the 17.4 hectares of land area in the district. Donau City had a population of 7,500 when the area first began to be redeveloped in the 1990s and developers are hoping that number will double when the expansion is finished.

Sources: Architectural RecordDesign Boom

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