Architectural Innovation in Vienna

 Park Hyatt ViennaEuropean capitals seem to take it in turns to have their moment in the limelight and 2014 looks set to be the golden year for Vienna, with new luxury properties and several architectural icons planned.

Perhaps most significant will be the arrival of Park Hyatt Vienna in June 2014, the Hyatt brand’s first hotel in Austria. Located in a 100-year-old building in the UNESCO-protected Old Town, currently undergoing a major renovation, the 143-room hotel will be the flagship luxury hotel within the new Goldenes Quartier complex, which also features high-end office space, 12 luxury apartments and flagship stores from luxury brands including Louis Vuitton.

Also making use of what will become an iconic city space is Meliá Vienna. Set to occupy the first 15 floors of the DC Tower 1 — one of a pair of iconic towers designed by French architect Dominique Perrault — the hotel will offer 253 rooms including 14 design suites, all with floor-to-ceiling windows, when it opens next year.

The towers will form the core of Vienna DC, a purpose-built urban centre, or city within a city, on the northern banks of the Danube opposite the Old Town, that was originally put aside for use during the EXPO 1995. At 220 metres, DC Tower 1 will become the tallest building in Austria when complete.

Perrault is not the only architect making his mark on the city. Zaha Hadid is one of many architects to have contributed to the new campus at the Vienna University of Economics and Business. Hadid’s Library and Learning Center is the focal point of the new EUR 492 million (US $679 million) campus, which took 41 months to build and is expected to become another key attraction for visitors with an interest in architecture.

Other significant luxury hotel openings in the city include Palais Hansen Kempinski Vienna earlier this year and The Ritz-Carlton, Vienna in winter 2012.