Vienna, Austria

Program: An 18-story, 570,487-square-foot hotel with 182 rooms, 9 conference rooms, a fitness club, a top-floor restaurant with panoramic views, retail space, and five levels of below-ground parking.

Design concept and solution: Rather than design a rectilinear tower, the architects imagined the Vienna Sofitel as an abstract volume of tilting planes of glass. They gave the structure—which is concrete for the building's first five stories and a mix of steel and concrete for the remainder—a trapezoidal footprint. With a mix of gray, black, white, mirrored, and transparent glass, the facade produces a dynamic range of reflections. The five-story base of the tower forms a strong diagonal, its roof sloping down and cutting away from the tower to reveal, through a wedgelike expanse of transparent glass, an illuminated fabric ceiling printed with an abstract design in kaleidoscopic colors, by the Swiss artist Pipilotti Rist. Another Rist ceiling adorns the restaurant on the top floor, which is also faced in wraparound clear glass, so that the glowing ceiling appears to lift away from the tower below. To set off the bright colors of Rist's artworks, the architects selected a simple interior palette of black, white, and gray—including granite floors for the public areas—mixed with lots of mirrors and transparent glass.

Completion Date: December 2010

Total construction cost: €140 million

Owner: UNIQA Praterstrasse Projekterrichtungs GmbH

Location: Praterstrasse 1, 1020 Vienna, Austria

Ateliers Jean Nouvel
10, cité d’Angoulême
75011 Paris, France
Tel :
Fax :


Owner: UNIQA Praterstrasse Projekterrichtungs GmbH

Ateliers Jean Nouvel
10, cité d’Angoulême
75011 Paris, France
Tel :
Fax :

Personnel in architect's firm who should receive special credit
Architect: Jean Nouvel

Project leaders: Ingrid Menon, Marie-Hélène Baldran

Facades: Matthias Raasch, Christoph Bienert

Industrial and interior design: Sabrina Letourneur, Eric Nespoulous, Anita Barthelemy Peboeck

Graphics and signage: Natalie Saccu de Franchi, Eugénie Robert, Rafaëlle Ishkinazi

Architects, designers, and graphic designers:
Clara Abreu, Amandine Albertini, Anna Angelelli, Jaime Battle, Fréderic Caudoux, Amandine Chezeau, Arnaud Coutine, Dan Dorell, Matthieu Gabry, Lucie Garban, Sophie Gramatica, Jiayao Huang, Jennifer Kandel, Freddy Laun, Denis Laurent, Arnaud Lapierre, Jéremy Lebarillec, Jugulta Le Clerre, Laetitia Leinartz, Paul Emmanuel Loiret, Marie Maillard, Kirsi Marjamaki Mas, Stephane Matthys, Tanguy Nguyen, Benoit Pailloux, Jörg Petrick, Paul Pires da Fonte, Susanne Priessner, Florence Rabiet, Ursula Reiner, Janaina Rezende, Pierre Roch, Federica Soletta, Karen Sherwood, Gaston Tolila, Anne Traband, Jacqueline Vieira Raasch, Francois Zab, Nabila Zerrouki

Models: Étienne Follenfant, Jean Marc Kurzewski

Images: Jean Angelini, Marie Maillard, Christophe Rousselle

Adviser to Jean Nouvel: Hubert Tonka

Artistic conception, illuminated ceilings: Pipilotti Rist, Zürich, Switzerland
Thomas Rhyner, Davide Legittimo, Judith Lava, Rachele Giudici, Chloé Pompon, Nici Jost, Pierré Mennel, Ewelina Guzik, Jean-Louis Gafner, Balz Roth, Carlos Martinez, Diego Rosafio

Green wall: Patrick Blanc

Artistic workrooms: Alain Bony, Henri Labiole

Artists/graphic designer rooms: Adam Fard, Almut Hahn, Eva Kadlec, Kris Lemsalu, Adrian Moldovan, Peter O.S., David Peschka, Fiona Ruckschcio, Elisa Schlifke, Sabina Smiljanic, Nasim Yilmaz

Construction documents: Neumann et Partner, Vienna, Austria

Werner Consult Ziviltechniker GmbH, Vienna, Austria
Ingenieurconsulent für Bauween, Vienna, Austria

Competition/Pilot study:
Terrell International, Paris, France

Building services:
Altherm Engineering GmbH, Baden, Austria

Buri Müller Partner GmbH, Burgdorf, Switzerland

Zivilingenierbüro Prause, Vienna, Austria

Quiring Consultants Ingenierubüro, Innsbruck, Austria

Lighting design:
Pokorny Lichtarchitektur, Vienna, Austria

Stria Ingenierubüro, Vienna, Austria

Fire protection:
Prüfstelle für Brandschut ztechnik, Vienna, Austria

External layout:
Rosinak et Partner Ziviltechniker GmbH, Vienna, Austria

Vermessungsbüro Harald Meixner, Vienna, Austria
Korschinek et Partner Vermessung ZT GmbH, Vienna, Austria

Floor study:
Erik Würger, Vienna, Austria
Nemec Zivilingenieru für Bauwesen, Vienna, Austria
ISP Ziviltechnik GmbH, Vienna, Austria

© Roland Halbe
© Philippe Ruault

© Ateliers Jean Nouvel