Architecture plays an important role in Austria and, starting from the last decades of the last century, it is receiving increasing attention; this data is proven by the consistent and widespread production on the national territory, by the debate developed in dedicated forums and outside the specialized magazines, by the ability to involve new institutions in dissemination and promotion and, finally, by the quantity of awards and prizes awarded in this area. The high quality of the works is the data of greatest interest on a European scale, compared to a limited number of designers who manage to establish themselves abroad.
According to indexdotcom, the country does not identify prevailing architectural trends, but a framework with multiple declinations in which some interesting phenomena can be distinguished that can be localized in precise geographical areas and with repercussions at a mainly local level, a widespread influence of the international influence, detectable above all in the work of the older generations young people, and the influence exercised by the most important Austrian figures in the disciplinary sector.
The role of Coop Himmelb (l) au in the global architectural scene remains unmatched, while Günther Domenig (1934-2012) and Hans Hollein (1934-2014) leave a visible legacy especially at national level in terms of avant-garde and experimentalism; it is in this context that the complexity and formal expressiveness of the contributions of Delugan Meissl associated architects (Festspielhaus, Erl, 2012), the next ENTERprisearchitects (Wolkenturm, Grafenegg, 2007), gaupenraub +/- (Eiermuseum Bertoni, Winden, 2010), SOMA (foyer of the Building Academy, Salzburg, 2012), Caramel Architekten (Science Park, Linz, 2012), BKK-3.
In the last decade, Vienna’s Architekturzentrum, based in the MuseumsQuartier (Ortner & Ortner, Manfred Wehdorn, 2001), has played a central role in bringing out a new generation of architects including: Weichlbauer Ortis architects (Bauernhaus surplus value, Frohnleiten 2009), Splitterwerk (Frog Queen, Graz, 2007), ARTEC Architekten, fasch & fuchs.architekten, feld72, nonconform architektur vor ort, propeller z, PPAG Architects.
The successful national planning activity, where the contributions of Gustav Peichl, Klaus Kada, Heinz Tesar and Boris Podrecca are also significant, alongside the international one that is variously spread throughout the territory – an emblematic precedent is the project of the Gazometri in Vienna (2001) – entrusted to figures such as: Peter Cook and Colin Fournier (Kunsthaus, Graz, 2003), Zaha Hadid Architects (Spittelau Viaducts housing, Vienna 2005, Bergisel Ski Jump and Nord park Railway stations, Innsbruck, 2002 and 2007), Steven Holl Architects (Loisium visitor center and hotel, Langenlois, 2003 and 2005), UnStudio (MUMUTH, Graz, 2008), David Chipperfield Architects (Kaufhaus Tyrol, Innsbruck, 2010), Ateliers Jean Nouvel (Sofitel, Vienna, 2010), Nieto Sobejano Arquitectos (Joanneum Museum extension, Graz, 2011, with eep Architekten),Dominique Perrault (DC Tower 1, Vienna, 2013).
The Austrian capital constitutes a singular case for the concentration of realizations that continuously transform and update the image of the city; exemplification of this phenomenon are both the interventions involving several designers such as that of the Donau-City (started in 1996, is ending with the construction of the DC Towers), of the Stadtentwicklungsgebiet Nordbahnhof (started in 2008) and of the Campus WU (2013), and the interventions of a more circumscribed dimension such as that of Hollein for the Albertina Museum (2004). Among the local phenomena, the abundant contribution, basically minimalist, of the Vorarlberg area where they operate, among others: Dietrich Untertrifaller Architekten (Festspielhaus, Bregenz, 2006); Marte.Marte architects (Mountain cabin, Laterns, 2011); Bernardo Bader architects (Islamic cemetery, Altach, 2011); Baumschlager Eberle (2226, Lustenau, 2013); Cukrowicz Nachbaur Architekten (Vorarlberg Museum, Bregenz, 2013); Hermann Kaufmann Architekten (with DI Ralph Broger and Querformat, Sicherheitszentrum, Bezau, 2014).
In 2014 Linz, with the reality of the Ars Electronica center (Treusch architecture, 2009), was included by UNESCO in the Creative cities network, in the context of Media arts.