One of the activities of the Vienna Insurance Group is insuring buildings, another is showcasing them, all thanks to the “Architektur im Ringturm” public exhibition space in their Vienna headquarters.
- Office tower hosting an ongoing series of exhibitions on architecture
- Entry is free. Open during standard office hours
- See also: What to do in Vienna
[Note: Current exhibition dates dependent on when everything can reopen following Coronavirus measures]
Boris Podrecca – Architecture
Dates: Friday, January 31, 2020 to Friday, March 20, 2019
Belgrade-born Podrecca counts as one of Europe’s more renowned architects and the Vienna resident has already influenced the city skyline here (he co-designed the huge Millennium Tower in the 20th district).
The exhibition uses models and accompanying text and literature to showcase Podrecca’s more recent work. He even designed the exhibition space himself.
A presentation of the projects shortlisted for the 2019 Austrian Builder-Owner Award (the Bauherrenpreis), with prominence given to the six actual award winners.
These winners included cattle accommodation, a private house, a school and the University of Applied Arts Vienna.
Albania – Decades of Architecture in Political Context
Architecture is a relatively young discipline in Albania, but has blossomed following the demise of the communist regime in the early 1990s.
Curated by Adolph Stiller in cooperation with Tirana’s Polis University, the exhibition presented some of the jewels of Albanian architecture from the past 100 years or so.
Curated by Aneta Bulant-Kamenova and Adolph Stiller, the exhibition celebrated the work of Bulgarian architect, Stefka Georgieva, particularly the buildings and projects she designed.
Georgieva’s most significant works appeared in the 1960s and 1970s in Sofia, Varna, and elsewhere in her home country. She received many national and international accolades during her life, including a prestigious Herder Prize (awarded in 1981).
Mario Botta – Sacral Spaces
The Sacral Spaces exhibition showcased Mario Botta’s building designs for religious settings. The Swiss architect has a long list of outstanding works to his name, including the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco and the National Bank of Greece.
His religious buildings include such eyecatching designs as the Santa Maria degli Angeli chapel in Switzerland, Évry Cathedral in France, or the Cymbalista Synagoge in Israel.
This exhibition put the spotlight on the nominees that made the final shortlist for the 2018 Austrian Bauherrenpreis, a prestigious award given for construction works, landscape architecture and urban solutions. The six eventual winners were given special emphasis.
One of the award winners was actually from Vienna: a school centre on the outskirts in Aspern (a location famous for being the site of the first battle that Napoleon ever lost).
Zwischen Kaukasus und Schwarzem Meer
This exhibition examined the architectural landscape across Georgia, a country spanning a breadth of geographical and cultural influences: Russia and a Soviet past on one side, Turkey and Asia on the other; the Caucasus mountains to the north and south, the Black Sea to the west.
You’ll find details of current and past Ringturm exhibitions at the official website.
The late 1990s saw the hall that once housed the public counter area for the insurance company converted into a professional exhibition space. Since then, the Ringturm has hosted a whole series of exhibitions under the title “Architektur im Ringturm.”
The building’s owners are a major insurance corporation (Vienna Insurance Group), and they’re quite invested in giving back through sponsoring cultural events. For example, the building’s facade is often converted into a giant piece of artwork in its own right. And the Christmas lights display has become a traditional part of the Viennese festive season.
(The Ringturm at Christmas)
Previous exhibitions have touched on architectural themes from around the world, though there is more emphasis on those countries where the company is active commercially – mostly central and eastern Europe.
For example, an earlier exhibition used nine Viennese buildings to illustrate the sociopolitical impact of architecture over the past 100 years of Austrian history. Before that, it was architectural developments in Vienna and Budapest after the break up of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.
Tickets & visitor information
At the time of writing, entry is free (yay!), and the exhibition is open weekdays from 9am to 6pm, as long as it’s not a public holiday.
How to get to the exhibition
As the name suggests, the Ringturm is on the Ring boulevard that encircles most of the city centre, albeit on the side opposite to all the museums, the State Opera House etc..
It’s easy to reach, being next door to the Schottenring station, which is fed by the U2 and U4 subway lines, the 1 and 31 tram, and bus 3A. Or you can just walk to it from the city centre.
Address: Schottenring 30, 1010 Vienna | Website