A 176-pound piece of concrete fell off the facade of the Zaha Hadid-designed Library and Learning Center in Vienna last Friday. The building, which opened last year, features a facade made from fiber-reinforced concrete. Even though the large chunk of building material fell down right in front of the library’s entrance, there are no reports of injuries. However, the incident does underline the importance of project execution and the question of architects’ responsibility.


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The Center is part of the Vienna University of Economics and Business and was awarded the European Award in 2014 by the Royal Institute of British Architects. The external appearance of the building is marked by two angular contrasting elements separated by a glass joint, which makes the programmatic separation within its interior readable from the outside.

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The massive black volume that cantilevers over the main entrance is clad in fiberglass-reinforced concrete, and it’s part of that structure that tumbled down last week. A pending investigation promises to find the cause of the incident and will result in a report that should be drawn up later this week.

+ Zaha Hadid Architects

Via Fast CoDesign

Photos by Roland Halbe