Park Apartments and Parkhotel at the Belvedere

Project data



Awards / Phase



100.000 m2

48.1844, 16.3838

New Urbanity at Vienna Central Station
Park Apartments and Parkhotel at the Belvedere

Renzo Piano Building Workshop (RPBW)
In collaboration with NMPB Architects

The merging of the south and east stations has created land areas with highly contrasting urban conditions: On the one hand, Belvedere Palace, Schweizergarten with its renowned 21er Haus, and Arsenal. On the other hand, the new Central Station with its large track system, traffic-intensive streets and high urban density with very different architectural languages and functional requirements. In other words, a location that offers picturesque views of Vienna's architectural heritage (Belvedere and St. Stephen's Cathedral) and scenic surroundings (Schneeberg and Vienna Woods), but is also exposed to the strong emissions of modern urbanity.

In addition to the high density and functional mix, urban architecture demands qualified/attractive open spaces, empty spaces, views, stimulating perspectives, places and places of strong identity.

The Park Apartments and Parkhotel project at the Belvedere is necessarily a high-rise project, in order to achieve the land use values by the master plan.

The building, which appears compact at first glance, is divided into individual vertical structures on high, slender pilotis, which have a varied polygonal ground plan structure. The urban development concept is designed to create views and vistas as well as an open space for landscape gardening. This mediates between the height levels of the train tracks and the Schweizer Garten. It also ensures visual continuity of the Schweizer Garten beyond the tracks.

The originality of the project, when perceived from the ground floor, creates a continuous cultural landscape of the Schweizer Garten towards the unoccupied open space. This is done by having the building start from the fourth to sixth floor. The use of the functional areas of the hotel and living only begins at a height that allows all residents a faraway view, and at the same time, creates a physical distance from the noise sources of the railway and car traffic. The first windows are located above the treetops of the Schweizer Garten and the enclosing walls of the railway, and thus, depending on the orientation, allow interesting views of Vienna's city centre and the surrounding countryside with the Vienna Woods and Schneeberg.

The structures predominantly form a building closure at the same height level to strengthen the formal unity of the entire complex. In contrast to the quiet roof edge, the building volume in the lower area graduates in many ways. The result is an exciting and lively interplay of different open spaces and perspectives. The horizon line forms the plinth of the garden landscape. As an element spanning the building, it occupies almost the entire property.

The formal unity of the design is also significantly enhanced by the uniform facade design across the building. Slightly varying in the grid, the ceramic façade extends in the same design over the hotel and residential buildings. It materializes the high quality standards of the hotel and residential complex. At the same time, it mediates between the historic façade of the Arsenal and the glass façades of the Erste Campus.

The distribution of functions in the entire planning area of the Central Station provides for the majority of retail in the vicinity of the station on the side opposite the project. Therefore, only the entrance lobbies, on the basement level of the residential buildings, are planned as minimal required functions. The development of the parking garage and delivery of the hotels will be at street level via the south side of the project facing the railway. The hotel opens up on the ground floor to both Arsenalstraße and the public square on the neighbouring plot of land, which refers to the 21er Haus, thus placing this museum in the immediate vicinity. Furthermore, the square strengthens the hotel's pedestrian connection to the railway station. A generous glass façade welcomes the visitors who can enter the hotel either from the station or from the Belvedere via the Schweizer Garten.

The only immediate residents of the Arsenal building, as well as park visitors and visitors to the Art Museum of the 21er Haus will benefit greatly from the horizontal view underneath the buildings, as there is no closed building front facing them. On the contrary: in the evening the sun will remain visible under the buildings. Access to the buildings for parking, provision and disposal is on the rear side of the project facing the railway.

Photography: Michel Denancé

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