In 1966, the Government of Austria made an offer to the United Nations to construct in Vienna an international center to be used by organizations of the United Nations system which will be known as the Vienna International Centre (VIC). An international competition for the design of the buildings was organized in 1968. It attracted the interest of architects worldwide and resulted in 288 designs being submitted. The Austrian architect Johann Staber was eventually the winner of the competition. Construction began in 1972. The costs of constructing the VIC were shared by the Government of Austria (65 %) and the city of Vienna (35 %). The VIC was inaugurated on 23rd August 1979 and the Government of Austria handed over the VIC complex to the United Nations for the symbolic rental sum of one Austrian schilling (equivalent to 0.07 euro today) a year for 99 years.

To make full use of the new facility, in addition to the IAEA and UNIDO which were already based in Vienna, other United Nations units were transferred to Vienna from New York and Geneva. Many of them were consolidated in the United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV). In 1997, the Preparatory Commission for the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization (CTBTO) was established at the VIC.

Although the original plan included a larger number of buildings and an internal train system, the VIC consist today of six office towers surrounding a cylindrical conference building, an additional conference building (M building) designed by Austrian Architect Albert Wimmer was inaugurated in 2009 to respond to the growing needs for large events, the highest tower (building A) stands 127 meters tall, enclosing 28 floors. The VIC comprises an area of 380,000 m2 with 230,000 m2 of offices and 180,000 m2 of grounds. The VIC accommodates between 4,500 and 7,000 people including staff members, conference participants, visitors and others.

The aim of this Design Program

… is to elaborate new urban design proposals for the entrance area of the VIC and in particular for the internal space of the „rotunda“. The proposals should focus on substantial improvements to the internal public space of the VIC in terms of adequate design and function according to a contemporary use of public space. The proposals should investigate ways of effectively linking the external and internal areas of the building, the plaza and the rotunda creating a sense of continuity and …

The Rotunda, being a multipurpose space and the main entrance of the VIC should reflect the values, relevance and objectives of the United Nations. Participants should consider the existing and new uses of the space in the rotunda, temporary exhibitions, information display, meeting point, gallery, banks, coffee station etc

This Design Program would like to:

  • Encourage the employment of sustainable design in all aspects of the proposal.
  • Encourage and reward design excellence at a large scale which integrates function, structure and details.
  • Generate the discussion of ideas regarding public buildings use of space and its functions.


All meetings will take place at the Department of Landscape Architecture, TU Wien, Operngasse 11, 4th floor, Raum 32

4.3.16, 9:00: Opening at the TU Wien, Raum 32. – Presence on 4th March is a prerequisite for participation in the design program
4.3.16, 10:00 Meeting at the VIC with Diego Masera, Guided Tour – Passport required

11.03.16, 9:00-13:00, Raum 32, 9:00-13.00: Consultation, Analysis
18.03.16, 9:00-13.00, Raum 32: Consultation, Analysis
08.04.16, 9:00-13.00, Raum 32: Presentation Analysis
15.04.16, 9:00-13.00, Raum 32: Consultation
22.04.16, 9:00-13.00, Raum 32: Presentation: overall concept: embedding the VIC into the city, urban and landscape context
29.04.16, 9:00-13.00, Raum 32: Consultation
06.05.16, 9:00-13.00, Raum 32: Consultation
13.05.16, 9:00-13.00, Raum 32: Presentation concept rotunde and square: (scale: 1:200 – 1:500)
20.05.16, 9:00-13.00, Raum 32: Consultation
03.06.16, 9:00-13.00, Raum 32: Consultation
10.06.16, 9:00-13.00, Raum 32: Consultation
17.06.16, 9:00-13.00, Raum 32: FINAL Presentation TU
04.7.16, 9:00-14:00: Preparing Exhibition at the VIC
04.7.16, 14:00: Opening Exhibition at the VIC


Poster (1,5MB)


Diego Masera, VIC Building Management Services


Norbert Trolf, Thomas Emmer, Andreas Hofer