Vienna West High School, Vienna

A former military barrack was converted into a modern high school. Half of the main building was demolished and extended with a terraced building around a central courtyard. The courtyard offers various seating areas for relaxing and learning outside the classrooms.
The new transparent main entrance in the historical façade invites the view into the green courtyard. All the communication areas are situated around the courtyard with room-high windows to allow direct connection to the outside. In contrast all the classrooms are located along the outer façade with horizontal windows to create quiet atmosphere.
While the junior classes are taught in clusters, the senior classes are organized according to the department system. The senior students have their own lounges, so called “Home bases”, which serve as study areas as well as Chill-out space. The top floors are for all the students to visit special classes like art, music and science. The school has a night ventilation system for cooling. Electricity is generated by a photovoltaic system on the roof. The main building is connected to a former horse-riding hall, which were converted into two gymnastic halls.

What makes this project one-of-a-kind?
The unique feature and the heart of the school is the terraced outside learning/chill-out space around a courtyard, which is hidden behind the historical façade. The entrance lobby with playful look-out windows and a bridge connects between the street and the courtyard through transparent façades. This transparency represents the vision of the “Open School”. The extension part of the building has a variety of colorful linoleum flooring tile patterns and gives accent to a friendly atmosphere in the school.


SHIBUKAWA EDER Architects + F+P Architekten

Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft mbH

Year of completion

Vienna, Austria

Total area
12.483 m2

Site area
11.236 m2

Kurt Kuball

Project Partners

Steiner-Bau.GesmbH, Prefa, Eternit, Schüco, Rehau, Marazzi, Forbo, Topakustik, XAL

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