Topping Out Ceremony for the Faculty of Medicine’s Teaching and Research Building

Construction work on the JKU Faculty of Medicine’s teaching and research building has been underway for just over 2 years.

F.l.: Alexander Klapfenböck (Strabag), Dean Andreas Gruber, Rector Meinhard Lukas, Health Minister Christine Haberlander, Franz Harnoncourt (director of the Kepler University Hospital), parliament member Markus Achleitner.
F.l.: Alexander Klapfenböck (Strabag), Dean Andreas Gruber, Rector Meinhard Lukas, Health Minister Christine Haberlander, Franz Harnoncourt (director of the Kepler University Hospital), parliament member Markus Achleitner.

The topping out ceremony was celebrated in mid-June of this year, meaning that despite the coronavirus pandemic, construction work is now on track. As of today, nothing stands in the way of welcoming students and faculty members to the building in the fall of 2021. In June 2019 - just after one year of construction - the new underground parking garage with 321 additional parking spaces opened. On June 16, 2020, concrete was poured on the top floor of the 10-story administration building located at the western end of the construction site and was cause for celebration.

Initiated by the Kepler University Hospital Ltd. with funding provided by the Upper Austrian government and city communities in Upper Austria, the project is coming together beautifully both inside and outside. In 2015, architect DI Peter Lorenz (LORENZATELIERS) won the international architectural competition for this building. He has completely redesigned the area with striking, urban-accented buildings that include social areas, such as a quad, in the center area. There is also space for a restaurant, a small grocery store, a bakery, and a bank to not only accommodate employees, students, and instructors, but local residents as well.

Christine Haberlander, Deputy Governor for Health, explained: "We paid particular attention to keeping the distances as short as possible. In the future, these short distances and a strong network of medical care, education and research will serve to provide even better patient care. Even just over the past first few years, we have seen just how much residents in Upper Austria can benefit from these unique synergies and consequently, we want to continue down this successful road."

Markus Achleitner, member of the State Council for Economic and Research of Upper Austria, remarked: "Upper Austria has many innovative companies and outstanding research, development, health and educational institutions, all of which need to come together in order to strengthen Upper Austria as a successful location and become globally renowned. In addition to the MEDUSA research project, construction of the teaching and research building is an additional milestone in our 'MED UP - Medical Upper Austria' initiative, underscoring just how important it is to pull together."

Professor Meinhard Lukas, Rector of the Johannes Kepler University, stated: "The topping out ceremony symbolizes just how well the new teaching and research building for our Faculty of Medicine is taking shape. Starting in the fall of 2021, our impressive building will not only serve as an innovative focal point for medical research, but will also serve as a home and anchoring point for our students and faculty members. I am delighted that our medical students will be able to complete their studies in this inspiring environment."

Mag. Dr. Franz Harnoncourt, managing director of Kepler University Hospital Ltd. and the acting client for this project, added: "As the contractor for this exciting, future-oriented project, I feel it is particularly important to make use of the public funds in such a way that benefits everyone. The state and communities’ investment volume is impressive and shows just how important this teaching and research building is for healthcare, science and Upper Austria as a location of business. I would like to thank everyone who has contributed – and will continue to contribute - to the project’s success, especially the head of our owner agency, architect DI Pia Goldmann, as well as architect and general planner DI Peter Lorenz for their unwavering commitment."

The new medical education building is taking shape, making it possible to see just how education will be organized in the future. Two large lecture halls on the ground floor can seat 180 and 300 people respectively. There is a spacious foyer in front. The two upper-level floors feature seminar rooms with mobile partition walls that can be flexibly arranged to seat a small number of students or a large number of students.

Mag. Dr. Elgin Drda, Vice-Rector of the Faculty of Medicine at the Johannes Kepler University, reflected: "When it comes to this ambitious project of building a modern teaching and research building for the Faculty of Medicine, there is a personal aspect for me. As the director of the Kepler University Hospital, I was allowed to be a part of and help shape this project from the very start. As Vice-Rector at the Faculty of Medicine, I am particularly delighted to be able to personally experience the topping out ceremony. Starting in the fall of 2021, we will welcome students, researchers and educators under this roof and give them space to achieve great things."

Prof. Dr. Andreas Gruber, Dean of Research at the JKU Faculty of Medicine and head of the Department of Neurosurgery, is also pleased with the progress of construction and the opportunities this will bring in terms of teaching and research: "Innovative research needs vision and space. The new teaching and research building is a milestone for the Faculty of Medicine’s advancement, making an important contribution to the level of visibility in regards to outstanding medical research and education in Linz. The new building’s innovative infrastructure is sure to become a hotspot for research-led education."

During the summer, the 5-story laboratory building located in the city on Krankenhausstraße will be decorated with a ceramic facade in four shades of red. Designed by artist Melitta Moschik, the façade is one of the "Art in Construction" projects. Once the highly technical installations have been completed, during the fall, the laboratory and research areas will be set up inside. The Med Space area on the first floor - a black box over seven meters in height designed to hold 3D lectures – will be an innovative focal point.

The bare brickwork for the 10-story, widely visible administrative building was recently completed, clearing the way to continue both the interior and exterior design. The wood walls and ceilings are currently being installed in the two-story library building which will also feature a Learning Center and a cafe on the ground floor. The building will also feature a green, living roof with trees and shrubs and to ensure short distances, a bridge will connect the library to the Kepler University Hospital.

Information, Facts and Figures about Construction Project:

  • 33 companies, many in Upper Austria, have been hired for the construction work
  • 12,500 m2 of floor space in the new buildings
  • 59,000 m3 of soil has been excavated and removed
  • 26,000 m3 of concrete has been used
  • 6,140 tons of steel ensure structural stability
  • 460 km of cable will be used
  • 220 km of data cables will be used
  • 105.40 million Euros of investment volume approved in 2015. One year before completion, the project continues to remain on budget.
  • 1,800 students will be educated on the premises
  • Follow the construction progress live: :, opens an external URL in a new window