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The restaurant Motto am Fluss offers cuisine of a high standard in a designer ambience.
© WienTourismus/Christian Stemper
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Who does not recognize St. Stephan’s Cathedral as the symbol of Vienna? Since 1990 its image has been reflected across the square in the glass façade of the Hans Hollein-designed Haas Haus. Hollein became the first Austrian to win the Pritzker in 1985, the world’s most prestigious architecture prize. The prize was first awarded in 1979 by American hoteliers Jay and Cindy Pritzker, owners of the Hyatt chain. The annual award comes with a cash prize of USD 100,000 and is comparable to a Nobel Prize. Previous winners include Philipp Johnson, Richard Meier, Frank Gehry, Renzo Piano, Norman Foster, Rem Koolhaas.
Hollein’s Haas Haus is just one of the many spectacular structures that gives Vienna a modern image, despite the ever-present baroque splendour. This pioneer of post-modernism has created commercial spaces for clients including Schullin Jewelers (1984) and the lighting firm Zumtobel Staff (1996). He also worked on the ramp at the Albertina (2003) and the renovations of the Hilton Hotel (2002). Hollein has also designed several office towers in and around Vienna, including the Mediatower (2001) on the Danube canal and the towers for construction firm PORR on the Laaer Berg (2003).
In 1991 Swiss architectural duo Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron completed a housing estate on Pilotengasse in the Vienna suburbs. Over 200 single-family homes were constructed on stilts with earth-tone paints used on the exteriors to reinforce a direct relationship between the structures and the terrain. In 2001 Herzog and de Meuron were awarded the Pritzker Prize in recognition of their work. Iraq-born architect Zaha Hadid designed an apartment house elevated on stilts in Spittelauer Lände that straddles Otto Wagner’s historic commuter train arches. The project was completed in 2005. In 2004 Hadid, who teaches applied arts at the University of Vienna, became the first and — thus far — only female prize-winner.
The most recent winner of the Pritzker Prize is the French architectural star Jean Nouvel. He was awarded the 2008 prize for his life’s work. Nouvel created a distinctive apartment complex in Vienna’s 21st district in 1998. Each building has an E-shaped floor plan and exudes Mediterranean charm. His most outstanding project, however, is one of the four former gas towers in Simmering—a distinctive example of industrial architecture in this new district that started to spring up in 2001. Rather than completely rebuilding the interior of Gasometer A, Nouvel instead elected to construct living spaces in the towers that is molded to fit the inside of the curved exterior walls. The glass roof and use of materials such as glass and steel create a sense of airiness.
1., Graben, Ecke Stephansplatz
1., Albertinaplatz 1
1., Kohlmarkt 7
1., Jasomirgottstraße 3-5
2., Obere Donaustraße / Taborstraße 1-3
3., Stadtpark 1
9., Spittelauer Lände 10
10., Absberggasse 47
11., Guglgasse 11
21., Leopoldauer Straße 168
22., Pilotengasse 30