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Here are the first photographs of Zaha Hadid’s Library and Learning Centre at the Vienna University of Economics and Business, which opened last week in the city’s second district.
The library and learning centre is one of seven buildings that make up the new campus at the Vienna University of Economics and Business (Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien), designed to accommodate 24,000 students and 1800 staff. The most distinctive feature of Zaha Hadid’s 28,000-square-metre building is a large black volume that is perched over the roof and cantilevers out across a public square at the main entrance. This 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. 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.

Rieder is giving away five Zaha Hadid books documenting 10 years of academic design research conducted at the Zaha Hadid master-class at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. Join the competition: www.facebook.com/fibreC