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31.01.2012

Boris Podrecca architects win the urban development competition for the "UniCredit Bank Austria Campus"

  • A milestone at the gateway to the Northern Railway Station: the jury of the urban development competition selected the trend-setting design of architect Boris Podrecca for the new location of Bank Austria as the winning project
  • The major project will be realised in close cooperation with the City of Vienna
  • The UniCredit Bank Austria Campus will be built on a gross floor area of 200,000 square metres in line with ecologically sustainable criteria
  • The project reflects UniCredit's clear commitment to Vienna as a business location

The "UniCredit Bank Austria Campus" project on the site of the former Nordbahnhof, Vienna's old Northern Railway Station in the city's second district, is located on the axis between central Vienna and Donau-City, the district on the other side of the Danube. It therefore provides a development impetus to the entire city. In this context Bank Austria is marking a milestone at the gateway to the Northern Railway Station in close cooperation with the City of Vienna:

An innovative site of international dimension for Bank Austria's business headquarters, with a gross floor area of about 200,000 square metres, will be developed by 2016 in line with ecologically sustainable criteria. For this purpose Bank Austria will take possession of five building plots from the Austrian National Railways for development and realisation. Bank Austria will itself construct the major proportion of the building components to be used by the bank. The remaining areas will be sold, as project components, to selected investors. The project comprises office buildings, infrastructure units, a Bank Austria Square and a tree-lined, traffic-calmed avenue.

Other facilities will include a 200-room hotel, staff canteens and company kindergartens, a Health Centre and a number of shops. Two underground car parks will accommodate 800 cars.

Major impetus for urban development
"The UniCredit Bank Austria Campus provides a major impetus for the development of Vienna's Northern Railway Station. The region has been experiencing steady development since 2004. It will see the emergence of a new city quarter in several stages by the year 2025 across an area of 65 hectares. A number of new projects such as Bike City or Wohnen am Park have been completed over recent years around the newly designed Rudolf-Bednar Park. Sustainable urban development calls for compatible utilisation, by which I mean apartments, workplaces, shops and a social infrastructure. I am all the more delighted that this project, besides the 400 apartments that have already been completed, will provide a large number of workplaces at an intersection which can be easily reached by public transport", says Maria Vassilakou, Deputy Mayor of Vienna.

"Boris Podrecca is the ideal architect for this project", says Willibald Cernko, CEO of Bank Austria, "a European mind for the business headquarters of a European banking group. The UniCredit Bank Austria Campus will offer the bank's employees, its customers and guests, other tenants as well as Vienna's inhabitants and all other visitors the opportunity to experience the project as a workplace, a multipurpose recreational area and a meeting place. The largest individual construction project in the Austrian capital moreover underlines Vienna's significance as a business location and, according to current computations of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research, it will provide approximately 5,000 jobs."

The architect Boris Podrecca explains his design for the UniCredit Bank Austria Campus: "The project's ideogram presents a generous concinnity of urban landscape and town buildings. The architecture of the work environment will be embedded in this polarity, while functioning as the zip and the framework of both spheres."

"The UniCredit Bank Austria Campus project on the site of the former Northern Railway Station is of great significance for Vienna's Leopoldstadt district", says Gerhard Kubik, city council leader for Vienna's second district, "the project will upgrade the entire Praterstern area. Besides the winning project's aesthetic criteria, I was particularly impressed by the excellent use of available space with its generous green areas and the related high-quality workplaces."

The project site on the Northern Railway Station
The project site is bounded to the east by commercial buildings along Lassallestrasse, to the south by the suburban railway line, and to the north and east by building plots on the area of the former Northern Railway Station. Development will take place via the "Tabor" and access will be ensured through paths and roads leading in from Lassallestrasse. There is no thoroughfare as the area is planned as a traffic-calmed zone. To the east the project touches on Praterstern, which has an excellent public transport infrastructure including the U1 and U2 underground lines and the Praterstern suburban railway station.

The urban development competition
The anonymous urban development competition provided a basis for including the plans of the City of Vienna and the interests of Vienna's second district in the project. The results were available in December 2011. It is hoped that zoning will be completed in 2012 and that all necessary approvals for construction will be available by 2012/2013. If this were the case, construction could commence in the second half of 2013. The project plans envisage construction work to be completed at the end of 2015, followed by the opening of the UniCredit Bank Austria Campus at the beginning of 2016.

13 participants, who included renowned architects and young Austrian and international architects, were invited to participate in the competition. Besides the overall urban development design, the jury's decision was based on criteria such as the internal and external architectural impact, functionality, versatility, economic efficiency and sustainability in terms of energy and ecology.

The high-calibre jury consisting of representatives from the City of Vienna, the Austrian National Railways and Bank Austria as well as of renowned architects carefully evaluated all the projects that were submitted. The designs that made it to the final round were of an exceptionally high standard. The jury finally selected the project of Boris Podrecca and his team of architects as the winner of the urban development competition.

Commitment of UniCredit to Vienna as a business location
The investment costs for the entire area total about EUR 490 million. The project also underlines Vienna's significance as a business location and, according to current computations of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research, it will provide approximately 5,000 jobs.
The zoned construction areas will generate up to 9,000 new workplaces, some of these also for other companies. Together with the existing Bank Austria office buildings at Lassallestrasse no. 1 and no. 5 with 3,000 workplaces, the UniCredit Bank Austria Campus on the site of the Northern Railway Station will provide office space for more than 12,000 persons. The UniCredit Bank Austria Campus is therefore a clear commitment of UniCredit to Vienna as a business location.

Enquiries: Bank Austria Media Relations Austria
 Matthias Raftl, tel. +43 (0) 50505 52809
  e-mail: matthias.raftl@unicreditgroup.at

A reproducible photo is  here. Reproduction is free of charge.

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