JKU Moves into the Vienna Postsparkasse Building

The JKU in Vienna: A new location for interdisciplinary thinking and academic/scientific collaboration.

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JKU Postal Savings Bank Building Vienna. Photo credit: Stefan Seelig

Together with the Vienna University of Applied Arts and the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Johannes Kepler University Linz will become part of the Center for Arts and Sciences in Otto Wagner's Postal Savings Bank building on Wiener Stubenring in Vienna. JKU Rector Meinhard Lukas remarked. "By taking this step, the Johannes Kepler University Linz is strengthening its presence in the nation’s capital. As the JKU, it is particularly important for us to do this not only in terms of space, but also to connect with other academic institutions of higher learning. We are not only taking a geographical step, but also an intellectual and content-related step."

Meinhard Lukas pointed out that at the time, Otto Wagner's architectural concept for the Postal Savings Bank building was highly controversial. "Contrary to the call, Otto Wagner did not create separate areas for the cashiers’ office and deposit area – he made one large common room. In general, the building was criticized for a 'lack of architecture'. Today we know that his ‘radical idea’ to merge the two halls means he was thinking outside of the box."  The story tells a tale of how the building merges with the spirit and the idea of what was planned at this location. "We also want to re-think the university and science. We want space in which real-world practices are not just side-by-side with the JKU, but support teaching and research and achieving more together. Wagner's architecture challenged thought processes and following in this spirit, we also want to ask questions and think ahead. Our modern times means we have questions and the answers will most likely not be found in traditional disciplines. The order of the day requires thinking beyond borders and thinking together."

Rector Lukas added: "Interdisciplinary actions just don’t happen at the JKU campus in Upper Austria. We consider this place as an opportunity to teach and conduct research beyond state and university borders."