Artistic design of the U2 station NeubaugasseCompetition Winner: Maria Ziegelböck

Artistic design of the U2 station Neubaugasse

Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien (Public Art Vienna) has a long-standing collaboration with Wiener Linien. Thanks to the current expansion of the subway system, this success story has reached another high point with three new works of art for the new section of the U2 line (completion in 2028): Maria Ziegelböck won the competition for the artistic design in the Neubaugasse subway station, Katja Davar for the Pilgramgasse station and Phil Collins for the Matzleinsdorfer Platz station.

The Neubaugasse station is an important transfer hub for the U2 and U3 lines. Located around 35 meters below street level, it will be the deepest station in the entire Vienna subway network. A total of eight elevators will take passengers directly to and from the U2 platforms. The construction section is located between the future crossing stations U2/U5 Rathaus and U2/U4 Pilgramgasse.

The artistic design is intended to create a distinctive artistic feature in the station's spatial concept that defines the space aesthetically and gives the location an unmistakable identity. The wall surfaces of the 195-metre-long connecting tunnel and the space between the lifts on three superimposed levels were available for the design. The competition was carried out as an invited, single-stage realization process.

The seven-member jury chose the design by Maria Ziegelböck on February 21, 2024.

Winning design: Maria Ziegelböck, „Sketch 24“

With the design "Sketch 24", Maria Ziegelböck develops a space-time dramaturgy from a sequence of photographs and color fields on the walls of the 195-meter-long connecting corridor of the Neubaugasse subway station, which reflects the conditions of fashion and advertising photography as well as the standardized concept of beauty and luxury. The aesthetic means of commercial photography are here used in a manner that allows passers-by a glimpse behind the scenes of product and fashion photography. With photos of faces, objects, rooms, tools and color palettes, the dramaturgy initially follows a sketch for a real "photo shoot" and then breaks through it again and again associatively with color panels. Gradually, the viewer is immersed in a cosmos of their own, in which everything communicates with everything else and new visual spaces are opened up with pictorial references to descending and ascending.

Maria Ziegelböck reveals structures in a strong visual language and draws attention to the supposedly unspectacular: to the planning processes, production sites and technology. She focuses on beauty beyond dictated ideas and develops a subtle play of ideas about the location of her artwork in the sixth floor below ground level of the deepest station in the entire Viennese subway network. Around 35 meters below Vienna's shopping street, where countless people think about their outward appearance and its optimization, about ideals of beauty and their individual desires, Maria Ziegelböck poses questions about norms and desires and makes them accessible to a broad public. And at the same time, hardly any work could tell more about the specifics of the location: "Sketch 24" is rooted in the here and now of the fashion and photography cluster of Vienna's sixth and seventh districts and yet the design seems like a time capsule beyond its time of origin.

--- jury statement

Further competition entries

Tony Cokes, Dream Visit 03“

Tony Cokes' project for the Neubaugasse subway station builds on his works "The Vienna Guide" and "Could you visit me in dreams?" from 2018. In reference to Sigmund Freud and the birthplace of psychoanalysis and dream interpretation, Cokes combines quotes about Vienna from various sources and contexts. On the walls of the connecting tunnel, 25 such phrases can be read at rhythmic intervals like film stills: historical facts, personal thoughts, descriptions of nightlife, tourist information in colored text on monochrome color surfaces. The colors are taken from the official color palette of the city of Vienna. In the space between the lifts, Cokes positions two screens per floor in portrait format, on which short looped videos can be seen (alternatively two light boxes with still images). A QR code on site leads to a playlist for both works. As a third component, a website is to be created to enable access to the project from anywhere.

Heidrun Holzfeind, Music for U-Bahn“

A blue sound wave is to be printed on the enamel panels at eye level along the entire length of the connecting tunnel. "This graph evokes various associations - as a diagram, a pulse, a reflecting landscape with mountains and lakes, but above all: a track, a rhythm, a song that everyone can imagine for themselves." (Heidrun Holzfeind) The wave represents a piece of ambient music that the musician Hans-Joachim Roedelius is to compose especially for the station: a piano-based piece in four movements, corresponding to the four sections of the tunnel. Accessible on site via QR code, the piece is intended as a soundtrack for the walkway. With a planned length of 20 to 24 minutes, it can also accompany passers-by beyond the Neubaugasse station and into the city.

Achim Kobe, „Blockbuster“

Achim Kobe divides the connecting corridor into four color sections, separated by the entrances to the platforms. The individual panels are enameled in monochrome, creating color areas in orange-red, green, yellow and violet-blue tones, darker and warmer near the floor, lighter and cooler towards the ceiling. The orange-red area is located near the entrance to the U3 underground line, the purple one refers to the U2 line. As a second level, Kobe designs an alphabet in lower and upper case letters by arranging white wall panels within the colored fields. In this way, he places the messages "Mariahilf, Neubau, Ciao Baba, Kirchengasse" on the walls of the tunnel with head-high "typo-graffiti".

Siegfried Zaworka, „gliss.“

Siegfried Zaworka reads the wall cladding of the connecting corridor as a sheet of music and the joints between the four overlapping enamel panels as staves. On this background he draws a continuous rotating form: twisted, turned, braided, plant-like, spiral-shaped. This ornamental strand runs along both sides of the tunnel walls in harmony with the flow of passers-by. In between, Zaworka intersperses musical notation. In terms of color, the north wall runs from warm red to cold red, cold blue, warm blue, warm green and cold green to yellow. On the south wall, the color scheme changes from cold blue to violet, pink and ultramarine back to the initial blue.


U2 station Neubaugasse

Further Information

Invited discursive procedure for an artistic design for the U2 station Neubaugasse, 1070 Vienna

Cooperation KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien and WIENER LINIEN


KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien



KÖR Kunst im öffentlichen Raum Wien


Werkraum Ingenieure ZT GmbH, Monika Trimmel


Andreas Gipfl, Wiener Linien (as representative of Peter Peternell)

Marina Hollensteiner, Project Head Architektengruppe U-Bahn | ZT GmbH

Sonja Huber, Director of the Department of Visual Arts and Media Art MA 7 (City of Vienna), KÖR Jury

Ursula Hübner, Artist

Peter Sandbichler, Artist

Isabelle Uhl, District Mayor’s Office, 7th District, Deputy District Mayor

Luisa Ziaja, Art Historian and Chief Curator Belvedere, Vienna


Karl Auer, Wiener Linien

Thomas Knoth, Wiener Linien

Gorana Krajnovic, Architect

Cornelia Offergeld, KÖR Wien, Curatorial Director

Martina Taig, KÖR Wien, Division Manager

Monika Trimmel, Architect

Gerhard Ullmann, Wiener Linien

Manuel Unger, Architect


Artistic design of the U2 station NeubaugasseCompetition Winner: Maria Ziegelböck

Time Period

Realisation planned: 2028

Education - Events

Cooperation partner/s