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Wotruba church, Liesing

The Church of the Holy Trinity, popularly known as the Wotruba church, looks more like an ecstatic pile of blocks than a building. And no wonder: its creator is sculptor Fritz Wotruba, renowned for his spare, abstract images of the human form. This two-storey structure is made entirely out of reinforced concrete. There are 152 different pieces of it bolted together to frame plate-glass windows offering views from its hillside location in an outlying area close to the Vienna Woods. It has a strong sculptural quality but Wotruba was actually inspired by the gothic Chartres Cathedral in France. He said he wanted to “form something that shows that poverty needn’t mean ugliness, that renunciation can occur within surroundings which are beautiful though extremely simple”.

1 Ottillingerplatz 1, 1230
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Rathaus, Innere Stadt 

The airy Rathaus (city hall) was completed in 1883 to replace the cramped old building and give pride of place to the newly laid Ringstrasse boulevard. With elements of gothic and baroque styles, it opens onto a large square that serves as a staging ground for public events – it’s where you’ll find Vienna’s biggest Christmas market, for example. The Rathaus’s central 105-metre-tall tower echoes the steeples of the nearby neo-gothic Votive Church, built a few years before to mark the attempted assassination of Emperor Franz Joseph I on the same spot.

1 Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz, 1010
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University of Economics and Business in Vienna campus, Leopoldstadt

Vienna’s Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien (WU) calls itself a “university of the future” and this campus in the city’s 2nd district would certainly look at home in a science-fiction film. Opened in 2013 it features a collection of colourful and eye-catching buildings that have been designed by some of the world’s most renowned contemporary architects, including Zaha Hadid – who created the Library and Learning Centre – and Sir Peter Cook. “This university is about being here,” says Jean Pierre Bolívar of Austrian firm BUSarchitektur, which developed the masterplan and designed some of the buildings. The campus is located in a former red-light district not far from the popular Prater amusement park.

1 Welthandelsplatz, 1020
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Images: Dreamstime/Pavel Lipskiy, Andreas Jakwerth 

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