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Competition

Artistic design of the passages of the U6 station Burggasse-StadthalleCompetition Winner: Marianne Vlaschits

Artistic design of the passages of the U6 station Burggasse-Stadthalle

With the aim of implementing contemporary art projects in and around the stations of Vienna's subways, KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien and Wiener Linien agreed on a long-term cooperation.

The artistic task for the Burggasse-Stadthalle station was to create a distinctive identity for the descents, ascents and passages to the tracks. The corridors were to be aesthetically upgraded and become permanently more attractive for users and passers-by. The aim was to create a contemporary, modern atmosphere and at the same time give the location an independent character with a high recognition value.

The Burggasse-Stadthalle station of the U6 line of the Vienna subway is located on the border between the 7th and the 15th district. It is named after Burggasse, a main axis of the 7th district, named in 1862 after its orientation towards the Hofburg, on the one hand, and the Stadthalle, located in the 15th district and built in 1958, on the other hand. The station was designed by Otto Wagner on behalf of the Commission für Verkehrsanlagen in Vienna and put into operation in 1898. In 1977, a second exit was built at the southern end of the platforms.

The five-member jury decided in favor of Marianne Vlaschits' design on September 25, 2023.

Winning design: Marianne Vlaschits - "Herbarium Burggasse"

With her design, Marianne Vlaschits succeeds in creating a harmonious link between the historic section of the subway station designed by Otto Wagner in the 1890s and the new section built in the 2000s. She picks up on the existing Art Nouveau elements, combines them with her individual, surreal imagery and thus creates a characterizing leitmotif for the Burggasse-Stadthalle station. The design of the painted work is conceptually thought out in detail and creates a reference to Otto Wagner's design approach not only through the formal language but also through the color scheme. For all its technical precision, the loose brushwork creates a lightness that lends the repetition of ornamentation a buoyant liveliness. In their variety, the forms combine to create a meadow or forest that enriches the passageways with a natural and positive quality. The motifs are effective as well as subtle. It establishes a reference to historic Vienna and at the same time creates an illusion of nature that invites one to walk through the passageways and constantly rediscover elements of the design.

--- jury statement

Marianne Vlaschits has developed a painted herbarium for the two corridors in the U6 station Burggasse-Stadthalle from various plant-like ornaments of the historic urban railroad designed by Otto Wagner. "The historic part of the Burggasse-Stadthalle subway station and the modern area of the station could not be more different. The playful wall decorations made of plaster and the wooden walls in the staircase of the old station painted in a rich green contrast with the purely functional, unadorned and new part of the building.
There is a lack of visual communication between the two areas. That's why it's important to me to create an aesthetic connection in order to create greater harmony in the overall picture. Otto Wagner says he created architecture for departure. My design picks up on this principle and creates a surreal landscape that can be grasped even in quick passing, thanks to the large, clearly defined forms and the simple color concept.
Many of the ornaments used for the design can be found in the historic part of the station, some are taken from the original plans or from other stations. The architectural style of the Vienna Stadtbahn is a transitional style between late historicism and Art Nouveau. Vegetal motifs such as palmettes, laurel leaves, garlands or acanthus leaves were used sparingly and discreetly, but to great effect. [...]
There are 25 motifs in total, which are repeated in different sequences on the four walls of the passageways. Thus, a new landscape emerges with each crossing of the passageways, and new images are discovered again and again through the different perspectives." (Marianne Vlaschits)

Further competition entries

Nicolas Mahler - "Höhlenmalerei Burggasse"

"The passageways are spaces that are traversed very quickly by visitors and passers-by. Motifs of the design "Höhlenmalerei Burggasse" reflect this behavior and translate it into exaggerated comic form. Like the people hurrying through the aisles, the drawn figures are also in motion. The drawings are sketchy, simple and thus formally reflect the dynamics of hurrying along.
In part, the drawings function as a kind of guidance system, guiding the gaze and feet; in part, the drawings function as diagrams in their own right. At the end of the passage, in the actual subway station, the concept of hurrying figures opens up and the architecture of the columns and the waiting situation at the track is taken up. The narrowness of the passage is briefly opened before entering the subway. The design close to the tracks can also be seen from the opposite side and makes curious about the drawings in the passage on the opposite side.
The color scheme of the drawings is scaled back and adapted to the color of the Line U6 without being identical. The hue is gaudier than the usual brown of the U6, some elements also have a completely different coloration. The main color, reddish brown, evokes cave paintings.
In terms of content, the diversity of the passengers is reflected by the different figures and sizes, without making this motif overly clear. In the best case, passengers can find themselves in a certain figure or will discover a favorite figure after some time while crossing the aisle repeatedly." (Nicolas Mahler)

Marcel van Eeden - no title

The reference to history is a central approach in Marcel van Eeden's work.
The concept of the design includes three levels of meaning. The first level is a formal-historical one, in which the artist makes a reference to the still existing original floor tiles and transfers their pattern to the walls. In order to dynamize the passages, the tiles are not to be taken over in their original format, but stretched and painted enlarged on the walls. Their color stands for the identity-creating brown of the U6 line.
The second level is a literary one, in which the artist thematizes Arthur Schnitzler's Rhapsody: A Dream Novel "Since the station is located under a library, it is logical to use a literary book. [...] For me personally, trains always have something to do with dreams. [...] Dream and Vienna, there is the connection to Freud or also to his counterpart, Arthur Schnitzler's Rhapsody: A Dream Novel." (Marcel van Eeden) Some of the places of action in the book are located near the subway station.
These lead to the third level, which focuses on the planting of these places, quasi as "actors". Rubber prints (photographs) of the different plants are placed in a continuous band in the middle of the painted tile structure by means of a wall printer and create a nostalgic impression. The design is intended to connect the historical with the modern Vienna and to create an open possibility of interpretation for the visitors and passers-by.

Location

U6 Burggasse-Stadthalle, 1150 Wien

Further Information

Invited discursive procedure for an artistic design for the passages of the U6 station Burggasse-Stadthalle, exit Urban-Loritz-Platz, 1150 Vienna

Cooperation KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien and WIENER LINIEN

AWARDING AUTHORITIES

KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien

WIENER LINIEN

PROCEDURE ORGANIZATION

KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien

PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION

WIENER LINIEN, Andreas Gipfl

COMPETITION JURY

Sonja Huber, Head of the Visual and Media Arts Department MA 7, KÖR Jury

Xenia Lesniewski, Artist (on behalf of Florian Reither)

Alfred Mansfeld, Chairman of the Cultural Commission of the 15 dsitrict (on behalf of Dietmar Baurecht)

Michael Obrist, Architect

Günther Olt, WIENER LINIEN (on behalf of Gudrun Senk)

TECHNICAL EXAMINERS

Andreas Gipfl, WIENER LINIEN

Cornelia Offergeld, KÖR GmbH, Curatorial Director

Peter Peternell, WIENER LINIEN

Martina Taig, KÖR GmbH, Managing Director

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Competition

Artistic design of the passages of the U6 station Burggasse-StadthalleCompetition Winner: Marianne Vlaschits

Time Period

Implementation planned: 2023/2024

U6 Burggasse-Stadthalle

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