This year our annual office trip adventure took us to the beautiful and lively city of Vienna.
Location-wise we stayed in the Schottenfeld Quarter, which served as an ideal base, with the Westbahnhof U-bahn subway station 2 minutes’ walk away and the Westbahnhof train / bus station only 5 minutes’ walk away- with the team staying in two neighbouring hotels; the Intercity Hotel Wien and the Ruby Marie Hotel.
Design highlights included an organised private tour of the 5 star Sofitel- architecturally designed by Jean Nouvel, the quirky circus interior themed 25Hours hotel and a 3 hour guided architectural tour of the campus of WU (Vienna University of Economics and Business). WU consists of 6 newly designed buildings had designed by architects such as Zaha Hadid, Sir Peter Cook, Atelier Hitoshe Abe and NO.MAD Arquitectos.
We visited Gasometer city- which comprises of four former gas tanks built 1896–1899. After they retiring from usage, the structures found a contemporary residential and commercial use. Each of the four gasometers have been rejuvenated and internally architecturally redesigned into apartments and a shopping mall by 4 architects- including Jean Nouvel, Coop Himmelbaus, Manfred Wehdorn and Wilhelm Holzbauer –with the old brick exterior front walls preserved in their original state.
The team also travelled to see Alt-Erlaa Housing Estate which is one of the largest housing estates in Austria- a city within a city with its own independent infrastructure showcasing a functioning satellite town of the 1970’s.
Viennese cultural highlights included a walk through the beautiful and leafy Stadpark; scattered with statues of famous Viennese artist and composers including Johann Strauss and Franz Schubert, Sampling classic Viennese café culture in Café Central and cuisine in Motto am Fluss restaurant, going on horse and cart rides, lunching in the Naschmarkt (the city’s best known market- with over 120 market stands and restaurants) and visiting Donauinsel island.
We also followed the beaten tourist trail; visiting the world’s oldest zoo- the Tiergarten Schonbrunn Zoo, the arty and colourful Hunderwasserhaus neighbourhood and the historical monuments of the city including the Parliament Building, the Museumsquartier, one of Vienna most famous squares; Michaelerplatz and both the Belvedere and Schonbrunn dramatic baroque palaces.
We also celebrated a total of 3 birthdays on the team- Austrian style!