Colorful tiles on the roof of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna

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Vienna Media News 03/2022 Premiere: First International Building Exhibition in Vienna

International building exhibitions have been around for more than 120 years. The format, which originally emerged in Germany, also acts as a stimulus for town planning and urban development. Inspired by the title New Social Housing, Vienna will now host its first ever IBA. Initiated by the City of Vienna in 2016, the project will enter the final straight in mid-2022. The buildings created since its inception will double up as exhibits for IBA_Wien 2022 for half a year.

Final Presentations Kick Off in Late June 

The final presentations for IBA_Wien 2022 will start on June 23, 2022 and continue all the way through to November 18, 2022. During this time, new builds and neighborhood developments all over the city that fly the flag for New Social Housing will be given their time to shine – in addition, there will also be a major exhibition at the Nordwestbahnhalle on Nordwestbahnstrasse 16, which will act as a hub for fans of architecture throughout. An extensive program, as well as guided tours and walks around IBA neighborhoods and projects will provide unique insights into the processes and outcomes of the 2022 Vienna International Building Exhibition. The Nordwestbahnhalle will provide a central point of contact for all visitors as well as the muster point for many of the tours and other activities during IBA_Wien.

Vienna – A Center of Social Housing 

But the quality of buildings is not the only factor: to take this into account, IBA_Wien 2022 is pursuing an interdisciplinary approach. Social fabric and cohesion also have a significant role to play in this look at the future of housing. How should city developments be designed so that urban living can thrive? What are the social requirements of residents and what can be done to nurture the highest possible quality of life? In light of its historic achievements, such as the housing program of the Red Vienna era between 1919 and 1934 and a world-beating proportion of municipal housing, Vienna is the ideal location to put the spotlight on innovative approaches to social housing. After all, just under one in every four apartments in the city is a local authority property. High profile topics such as low-impact construction methods will also be given prominence at IBA_Wien 2022. These include exploring what is required to deliver sustainable buildings against the backdrop of climate change.

Building During the Age of Climate Change 

Among the construction projects and city developments featured at IBA_Wien 2022 with a focus on environmental concerns, Biotope City – a completely new neighborhood in the tenth district – is committed to maximum greening measures in a high-density environment. The Biotope City project clearly shows that affordability and environmentally-construction methods need not be mutually exclusive when it comes to the non-profit housing sector. Another similar project, MGG22, in Vienna’s twenty-second district is also prioritizing climate protection. It is the first time that thermal component activation (TCA) is being used to heat and cool a social housing development. This ensures that the system can be powered exclusively by renewable energy throughout the year.

New City Developments Step Into the Limelight 

In all, there will be nine new neighborhood developments to discover at IBA_Wien 2022, all of which provide examples of innovative forms of social housing. Quartier Neu Leopoldau, which is located on the site of a former gas-fired power station will feature, as will the Sonnwendviertel development with its innovative building groups, as well as the Wolfganggasse project where a new neighborhood is taking shape with 850 rent-controlled apartments, a kindergarten and a supermarket as well as various commercial units for local businesses. IBA_Wien’s interdisciplinary approach becomes particularly clear at the participating city developments, such as Quartier Am Seebogen, a new neighborhood with a distinct focus on the twin topics of Living and Working. Part of Seestadt Aspern (one of the largest urban development projects in Europe), it applies an innovative take to mixed use requirements. The overarching aim is to provide a foundation from which a diverse social infrastructure can grow. A “commercial courtyard”, a supermarket and more than ten commercial premises will help Quartier Am Seebogen to thrive economically. Meanwhile, a broad range of health, exercise and sports initiatives will ensure that the needs of all residents are catered for.

Building With a Future 

One of the outstanding stand-alone buildings to be profiled at IBA_Wien 2022, the Vivihouse was constructed using an innovative system for mixed-use multi-story buildings. This modular wooden frame technique was specifically optimized for eco-friendly building materials. 

EU innovation project HOUSEFUL is a prime example of the circular economy in action. Innovative systems designed to recycle household waste and wastewater on site have been developed and put to the test in demonstration buildings.  

Elsewhere, HOME 21, which was created as part of Vienna’s Immediate Construction Program, gives a captivating insight into the future of housing. The project aims to provide affordable homes for groups that had previously had little or no access to subsidized new builds. Under the program, temporary housing can be built in areas that are not zoned for residential use. 

In all, more than 100 projects plotting the future direction of social housing await discovery at the final presentations at IBA_Wien 2022 from June 23, 2022. 


Vienna Tourist Board
Helena Hartlauer
Media Relations
Tel. (+ 43 1) 211 14-364