On 13 October 2023, the mdw and the Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft (BIG), Austria’s federal property manager, celebrated the grand opening of the converted loft spaces at the mdw’s main campus on Anton-von-Webern-Platz.

© Stephan Polzer

This construction project, which ran from July 2022 to September 2023, included restoration of the entire roof and the installation of solar panels covering a total of 650 m2 as well as a new building services centre directly below, new ventilation systems for the ground floor concert halls, and partial adaptation and enlargement of the lofts in Wing C as well as in parts of Wings B and D.

© Stephan Polzer

To make this new level accessible, the main stairwell has been extended upward and a new steel-and-glass lift shaft constructed in the courtyard to afford barrier-free access to all levels. The additional 1,500 m2 created by this project contain new office space as well as teaching spaces that will be used mainly by the Joseph Haydn Department of Chamber Music and Contemporary Music and the Department of Composition, Electroacoustics and Tonmeister Education.

From left: BIG CEO Hans-Peter Weiss, Rector Ulrike Sych, University Board Chair Angelika Möser, Ministry of Education Section Head Elmar Pichl, and architect Reinhardt Gallister © Stephan Polzer

“Converting these lofts has made available new high-quality spaces without sealing any additional soil surface. We’ve thus conserved valuable resources, prevented soil sealing, and put climate protection into practice,” commented BIG CEO Hans-Peter Weiss in his opening address. The historic timber roof trusses, now integrated into the new teaching spaces as a design element, are a special feature that lends these newly created spaces a character all their own. A new steel structure now performs the function of the original truss construction.

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