16.05.2019 Austria Center Vienna revamp approaches first milestone

donauSEGEL Umbau Bild vergrößern

Work on the largest modernisation project in the company’s history has been progressing nicely since the start of the year. The four support columns for the danubeSAIL on Bruno-Kreisky-Platz will go up a short time from now, marking the project’s first major milestone. The first large-scale congress is set to take place beneath the new landmark in March 2020.  

“We are right on schedule and cannot wait to see the danubeSAIL take shape in front of our eyes,” said Managing Director Susanne Baumann-Söllner. Work pouring the concrete foundations for the four main supports that will hold up the steel construction began at the start of the year. The temporary hall on the square outside, the additional buildings used during Austria’s presidency of the EU Council and the yellow Wave above the main entrance have already been dismantled.  

Centrepiece due for completion in initial construction phase
Over the next few months, Bruno-Kreisky-Platz will be covered – with the danubeSAIL. This new addition defines and gives structure to this empty and largely unused square, turning it into a space where people will choose to spend time. The area beneath the danubeSAIL can be closed off as required to create a multifunctional hall for events and congresses. Measuring around 6,000 square metres, the roof will be completed in several stages. The four support columns are scheduled for completion by the end of June, with the roof gradually taking shape between then and October. The columns and roof will be clad by December, and completion is scheduled for February 2020.  

Construction phases and event phases
A number of other remodelling projects will also be completed at the venue by the start of 2022, including the construction of a new entrance building and a skywalk which will link the main building with all of the exhibition halls. “To help us manage the challenges of juggling construction work at the site and normal operations, we have divided the coming two and a half years into construction phases and event phases,” Baumann-Söllner explained. This autumn is a case in point: at a time when one congress comes hot on the heels of the next, building work at the site will all but stop for a number of weeks.  

A new public space for Donaucity 
At the moment, the trend in Vienna’s Donaucity is to build upwards, with numerous high-rise projects set to start this year and in the years to follow. As a result, the square underneath the danubeSAIL comes as something of an exception as it is intended to provide a communal space for the people who live and work in this part of town to enjoy for the majority of the year. The idea is to prepare the 22nd district for its new landmark while construction work is completed. “Initial discussions with local residents have given rise to a number of interesting suggestions regarding their hopes for the space beneath the danubeSAIL. From a new market to mobile greening for the space, and an open air cinema to a climbing wall – there were lots of different ideas,” Baumann-Söllner confirmed. A major survey of residents to help gather even more ideas is planned for the summer. Everyone living in the city is welcome to visit the site during the year to check on the progress of construction work on the 6,000 square metre, 17-metre-high danubeSAIL.  

danubeSAIL 2022: at the heart of a major modernisation concept 
The danubeSAIL is the largest construction project at the venue by far since it first opened around 30 years ago. The aim is to build on Vienna’s successful model as a congress destination, with a view to safeguarding long-term competitiveness. The phased project will be completed in 2022. A new access building with skywalk and two additional entrances will make it possible to use the different levels for separate events held in parallel. An attractive canopy – the danubeSAIL – will also be added to the square outside the building. By the time work is completed, this area will be transformed into a public space that brings people together, and adds a further 4,200 square metres for events in either closed or open formats. The danubeSAIL will be completed in February 2020 ready for its first ever event in March, the European Congress of Radiology (ECR).  

Facts and figures
Construction schedule: 2019-2022
Total cost: 32m 
Financing: Federal government (65%), City of Vienna (35%) 
Architect: Dietrich I Untertrifaller 
Project manager and site supervisor: Vasko+Partner
General contractor: Zeman & Co GmbH 

About IAKW-AG
Internationales Amtssitz- und Konferenzzentrum Wien, Aktiengesellschaft (IAKW-AG) is responsible for maintaining the Vienna International Centre (VIC) and operating the Austria Center Vienna. The Austria Center Vienna is Austria’s largest conference centre, with 24 halls, 180 meeting rooms, and some 22,000 m² of exhibition space, and is one of the top players on the international conference circuit. www.acv.at 

Contact
IAKW-AG – Austria Center Vienna
David Scheurich, Press Officer
Tel: + 43-676-4392579
Mail: david.scheurich@acv.at

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donauSEGEL Abb.1 (c) IAKW-AG/begehungen.de
donauSEGEL Abb.2 (c) IAKW-AG/begehungen.de