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The Barcode, Office Tower AKH Wien

Project description

Conversion of an accommodation tower to an office tower


Vienna, AUT


University Hospital Vienna

Scope of services

Conceptual design / Planning application / Technical design


2020 – 2023

Floor area

13.500 m²



Greetings from the roaring ‘60s!  A few highlights include: Willy Brandt becoming chair of Germany’s Social Democratic Party, the birth control pill coming onto the market, Jean-Paul Sartre rejecting the Nobel Prize, Star Trek celebrating its premiere and the Rolling Stones releasing their first LP. In Vienna, however, a twenty-storey reinforced concrete staff accommodation tower was built between 1964 and 1967. Now after almost a decade of partial vacancy, this dormitory tower is being converted, turning it into a modern office building for the Vienna Healthcare Group and the University Hospital Vienna.

The challenges of adding to an existing structure
The conversion of an out-of-date concrete shell into a contemporary work environment presents particular challenges. The tower is to be entirely gutted, leaving only the reinforced concrete frame. Despite structural and geometric constraints, a new room arrangement that offers great flexibility and efficiency is incorporated into the existing structure. Essential components of the renovation include a seminar centre on the ground floor and modern offices on the upper storeys as well as structural and technical renovation. The building plant will be renovated and relocated to the roof, creating an open landscape on the top floor that meets contemporary work requirements. The new, thermally optimized façade will be constructed of metal panels that change white in a barcode pattern and will be crowned by a one and a half storey high glass element. The pavement of the redesigned forecourt takes up the barcode theme, while street furniture, benches, planters – containing winter-hardy medicinal plants and gingko – and porches are made of precast reinforced concrete elements. The overall atmosphere brings the subtle charm of the sixties to the 2020s.

Attractive architecture for a contemporary work space
Glazed partition walls bring light right to the heart of the building, creating a transparent, contemporary work space. The seminar centre can seat a hundred people or be divided into smaller units to match various meeting configurations, thanks to the use of mobile folding walls. Various versatile spaces on the office floors can be used for spontaneous meetings, alternative work spaces or relaxation zones. Vienna Healthcare Group’s Corporate Identity is reflected in the colour scheme of the project. Thus petrol, green, mint and blue-grey are used liberally, whilst wood, metal and glass create an elegant and pleasant atmosphere for all employees.

The Barcode – this state-of-the-art office building commissioned by the Vienna Healthcare Group and the University Hospital Vienna meets all the requirements of a modern work environment in a congenial atmosphere.

West facade, completed May 2023

A modern office environment for the highest demands is created, May2023

View of the AKH towers from the roof, May 2023

May 2023

Barcode facade

Site plan


The overall atmosphere brings the subtle charm of the sixties to the 2020s.

Ground floor

Section A-A

Standard storey

Management office


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