Sigmund Freud University, Vienna

Idea and design competition 2012, 5th  place In collaboration with: Hamburger You Pfamatter Architekten GmbH ETH/SIA, Zurich

Energy standard

 Passive building

Contract type/ Realisation

Competition 2012 /

Building typology

Educational institution


Sigmund Freud Privatuniversität Wien – Paris. Hochschulstandort Wien / Messestrasse Projektentwicklung GmbH

The Ensemble

The university building’s sober body with a quadratic layout and inner courtyard manifest the value of the Sigmund Freud University (SFU): the academic community of teachers and students. The building is set a step back from the street, freeing up the main facade. This elegant gesture enables the westward atrium building to become visible. This results in a balanced ensemble in which both buildings complement and strengthen one another. The SFU is confidently set next to the new campus of the University of Economics without ingratiating itself. On the contrary, it uses its environment and self-sobriety to differentiate itself from the intense formal gestures of its surroundings.

The Spatial Arrangement

A classical space structure is proposed: a representative forecourt, a spacious anteroom with low rise steps, a two-story foyer with balustrades, representative staircases on the sides and clearly arranged lifts.

These provide a spacious access route to the SFU and lead onward to the library. The ceremonial hall facing the forecourt and the inner courtyard, the heart of the university building, is ideally set alongside the impressive foyer. It relates to the origin of all European universities: the monasteries, in which teaching and contemplation existed in harmony. It also relates to other significant examples, such as the main building of the University of Vienna on the Ringstrasse, where the inner courtyard is of high importance for the social life of the university.

The inner courtyard, a garden with abundant serviceberries and number of seating areas provide spaces for living, working or lingering. The cloisters are enclosed, united and protected. The academic community is distinctly noticeable.