Vienna, March 6, 2023 – This year marks the 150th anniversary of the legendary World’s Fair in Vienna. Times. Under the motto “Vision and Awakening”, numerous Viennese institutions are dedicating themselves to this event, which inspired the development of the city into a world metropolis in the 19th century. With PANORAMA VIENNA, a spectacular new exhibition venue of a special kind will open in 2023: it is not only a reminiscence of the legendary domed building erected in 1873, which became the landmark of the World Exhibition, but also revitalizes the tradition of the rotunda in the Vienna Prater for the 21st century.
The revival of the Rotunda in the Vienna Prater
Exactly 150 years after the 1873 World Exhibition, this year PANORAMA VIENNA is celebrating the resurrection of the rotunda tradition in Vienna’s Prater with the construction of a modern reinforced concrete rotunda. Built using the sliding construction method, it will be used to present an unprecedented form of exhibition in Vienna: Gigantic art formats in the form of giant analog 360-degree circular images will be presented in the approx. 33-metre-high structure with an external diameter of approx. 36 meters, the size and dimensions of which can only be experienced by viewers exclusively on site on the inside of this panoramic rotunda.
In keeping with PANORAMA VIENNA’s motto “All Perspective”, the dimension of the fully visitor-focused viewpoint (polyperspective) goes beyond the boundaries of the existing space inside the rotunda, creating a unique illusionistic pictorial space that visitors can explore in detail and at their leisure from a steel platform with levels at heights of three, six, twelve and fifteen meters.
The rotunda is currently in construction phase 1, with the massive floor slab – consisting of 220 m3 of concrete – being poured at the end of February. And the next challenging milestone is already imminent: the construction of the spectacular and immensely complex roof structure. Due to the special requirements that have to be taken into account and fulfilled, as well as its considerable dimensions – the outer circumference is over 100 meters, which corresponds to the length of a soccer pitch – it is supported by a substructure consisting of a steel frame over 30 meters high inside the circular structure. After completion, the roof will take a total of twelve weeks to fully settle.
And the formwork for the roof construction will also provide another spectacle: while we are already used to seeing at least one Coca-Cola truck live at Christmas time, between 22 and 24 articulated lorries will drive up the access road to transport the formwork material – a sight that visitors to the Vienna Prater only get to see in exceptional cases. In terms of sustainability, it is also planned to green the façade of the rotunda over the course of the coming construction phases and to cover the majority of PANORAMA VIENNA’s energy requirements with the help of photovoltaic panels – which, in the best-case scenario, will even allow additional energy to be fed into the grid.
The highly immersive exhibitions at PANORAMA VIENNA, staged with great attention to detail, represent a completely new concept for Vienna’s Prater, which is set to celebrate its 150th anniversary. The exhibition will guarantee an incomparable visual spectacle on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the World Expo and at the same time herald a renaissance of the monumental in the 21st century.