The existing embassy buildings, as seen here in the view from Reisnerstrasse, interpreted the green border and its impressive stock of trees as a front garden zone, and without a connection to the representative outer embassy zones.

In Vienna, our design was received in a typically local manner: “I can’t believe it! The ignorance of German bureaucracy is actually carrying out the demolition of one of the most beautiful and best buildings by Rolf Gutbrod, while the silly, vain architects tag along. No more than a gentle renovation would have been necessary. Instead, what’s coming now is a really mundane hut smack in the middle of the Viennese embassy district and simply unworthy of the Federal Republic of Germany!” (Dietmar Steiner in BauNetz, 15th April 2016)

The new building will make better use of the potential of the place. As a “green island” in a sea of houses, the German Embassy will be able to radiate the openness to do justice to its extended politico-cultural functions in Vienna. A special diplomatic feature is the linking block between the chancellery and the residence on Reisnerstrasse. It allows flexible crossovers between the official and private areas of the embassy.

To better combine the green space with the building, the building structures partially step back from the prescribed building lines. They subdivide the plot into the chancellery garden, the visa garden, and the residence garden, while a service and supply court is accommodated on the north side. Visitors and employees reach the embassy via the gate on Jauresgasse on the south side.

On the bel étage, the courtyard of the chancellery opens towards the stock of trees. This creates a weatherproof exterior space above the base level which, together with the residence terrace, connects the official wing of the embassy (foyer, reception hall, music room, library) with the garden.

To emphasise the interplay of the white building structures, Krastal marble seems to us to be the most suitable façade material. This stone is extremely weather-resistant and is quarried in Carinthia, whereby the building displays its close connection to the Republic of Austria on the outside as well.

The German Embassy in Brasília, designed by Hans Scharoun, was still in its original condition when we visited it in 2011. The cheerful impression of its roof terrace served as an inspiration for the bel étage of the embassy in Vienna. Unfortunately, seat benches whose backrests serve as fall protection are no longer permitted today.