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176-Pound Chunk Of Concrete Falls Off New Zaha Hadid Building

This is the second time a piece of the Library and Learning Center at the Vienna University of Economics and Business has fallen off.

176-Pound Chunk Of Concrete Falls Off New Zaha Hadid Building
[Photo: Milena Vuckovic via Shutterstock]

A hunk of concrete cladding weighing an estimated 176 pounds (80 kilograms) fell off the facade of a year-old Zaha Hadid-designed building in Vienna late last Friday night, according to Austrian newspaper Die Presse.

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This is the second case of substantial pieces of concrete falling off the Library and Learning Center at the Vienna University of Economics and Business since the building opened in October 2013. Last year, a piece of fiberglass-reinforced concrete crashed to the ground in front of the library entrance, an event later blamed on “assembly error” by the contractor, according to an English translation of the Austrian paper Kurier. No one was injured in either incident.

Hadid’s Library and Learning Center, clad in fiberglass-reinforced concrete, is the crown jewel of the Austrian business school’s new campus. Noted for the massive, angled black volume that cantilevers out over the main entrance, the building won the Royal Institute of British Architects’ European Award in 2014. (See inside in this animation.)

Contractors are expected to investigate the cause of this latest incident and draw up a report later this week. The building remains open, though the main entrance and parts of the surrounding pedestrian pathway have been cordoned off.

Co.Design has reached out to Zaha Hadid Architects for comment.

About the author

Shaunacy Ferro is a Brooklyn-based writer covering architecture, urban design and the sciences. She's on a lifelong quest for the perfect donut.

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