Vienna – Day 4

Halfway our journey and today is a more relaxed day for us. In the morning we visit the Gasometers. A building complex existing of 4 repurposed gas storage tanks. Eacht one was designed by a different architect : Gasometer A by Jean Nouvel, B by Coop Himmelbau, C by Manfred Wehdorn and D by Wilhelm Holzbauer.

In the afternoon we have an appointment at 3pm at the University of Applied Arts and that leaves us with some time to kill before going there. So we decide to visit the Natural History Museum. Even the building itself is beautiful, with a magnificent sculpture and all sides representing the various continents. The museum holds a spectacular collection of fossils, rocks, stuffed animals and many more. Afterwards we enjoy a traditional Viennese bratwurst from a booth in the park nearby. Because you can’t visit Vienna without tasting this.

At 3pm we are welcomed by Anna Gulinska at her campus of the University of Applied Arts. The master education of this Institute of Architecture is completely different than our own. When starting their first year, the students get to choose between 3 studios working with the institute : studio Sejima, studio Lynn or studio Rashid. During their 3 years of school, the students work as a team within these studios. It doesn’t matter what year they’re in, the all work together. They just need to learn different things during a year. Each studio has a workshop on campus. These are flexible and open and get arranged and rearranged as the students see fit. There are even small kitchens nearby, so the students can cook together and keep working on their projects as long as they want. You can see this is all a brilliant idea, because even though it’s an official school holiday, there are a lot of students working there.

After the tour, Anna gives us some publications of their school, free for us to take home. She also recommends we visit the other building across the street. This is recently renovated and is a perfect example of how Vienna repurposes old buildings. Because there are a lot of palaces and monuments here, which can’t just be demolished. So they found a perfect way to keep the original features which make Vienna so great and still use the buildings for completely different functions than it was first intended for.

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