Is That A Martian Colony Sprouting Off The Side Of That Building?

I’m not sure what planet Austrian architect Wolfgang Tschapeller thinks he lives on, but if his designs are any indication, it certainly isn’t Earth. Consider his latest proposal, an expansion and a restoration of a university in Vienna: With a glass colony of stairwells and elevator tubes sprouting off the front of an old building and a pair of giant balloons bobbing around on the roof, you half expect to see George Jetson zip by in his aerocar.

And it’s not just the wacky drawings of some Syd Mead wannabe. It’s actually expected to be built. Tschapeller beat out 14 finalists in an international design competition to overhaul the campus of the Angewandte, a group of buildings used by the University of Applied Arts and the Museum for Applied Arts.

There’s a practical reason why the design looks the way it does: By removing all the elevators and stairs from the core of the old, main building and tacking them onto the facade to create the aforementioned glass colony, the architects free up precious floor space and improve the building’s overall circulation.

As for the balloons, Tschapeller’s office explains them this way: They’ll be “temporary structures” that can be raised to “signal special occasions at the Angewandte” such as graduation or what have you. Think of them as the whimsical flags of Planet Tschapeller.

For more Co.Design coverage of Tschapeller, go here.

[Images courtesy of Wolfgang Tschapeller]