Vienna, May 5, 2023 – The new rotunda in Vienna’s Prater remained quiet for a long time, but on May 1, the time had finally come: After PANORAMA VIENNA reached a major milestone with the completion of its massive roof construction at the end of April, it was duly celebrated with a topping-out ceremony. The joyous occasion was dedicated to the hard-working employees, partners and contributors who have made this extraordinary and ambitious construction project possible with their tireless efforts and who have achieved amazing things over the past weeks and months.
The celebration to mark the completion of the shell of the modern panorama rotunda was a complete success: at the traditional start of spring in the Vienna Prater, the invited guests were able to see the progress for themselves and celebrate together with the architects, construction management and management at a befitting construction site party – with a hearty snack of meat loaf rolls and beer as well as thank-you speeches and a staged show act that gave a wonderful foretaste of the modern PANORAMA VIENNA Gesamtkunstwerk. In the presence of guests of honor Mayor Dr. Michael Ludwig, City Councillor for Culture Veronica Kaup-Hasler and District Head Alexander Nikolai, the countdown to the opening was also heralded.
A celebration of equality made to measure
To the sounds of Johann Strauss Sohn’s Rotunda Quadrille (op. 360), which opened the World Exhibition, the guests were taken on a virtual flight through the Rotunda of the 1873 World Exhibition, digitized and animated by Filmwerkstatt Wien, to pay tribute to the history of the rotundas in the Vienna Prater. After this impressive presentation, the general planner and architect, Dipl. Ing. Thomas Schmidt from WGA ZT GmbH, and the master builder, Dipl. Ing. Reinhard Freidl from Pongratz Bau, anecdotes and described the challenges of building the modern panoramic rotunda: “It is a real pleasure to be able to build such a structure – especially against this important historical backdrop. A conventionally reinforced supporting structure with a span of 36 meters and a height of 33 meters – something like this is simply not found in traditional residential construction. We have taken on this extraordinary and unique challenge and are proud to be able to erect such an unusual supporting structure,” says Dipl. Ing. Freidl is enthusiastic about the collaboration with PANORAMA VIENNA.
The floor was then handed over to Dipl.-Kffr. Ilona Cardoso Vicente, Managing Director of PANORAMA VIENNA, who also spoke about the collaboration with the partners and the background to the project: “With this topping-out ceremony, we would like to thank all our workers, partners and contributors for their tireless work and positive spirit, which have made this project a real pleasure despite its challenges. The PANORAMA VIENNA is not only a tribute to the Rotunda of the 1873 World’s Fair, but should also be seen as a cultural gift to all Viennese. A very special kind of meeting place is being created here – in the middle of a place steeped in history and a wonderful city.”
In this context, PANORAMA VIENNA would also like to thank Gleitbau-Salzburg, whose outstanding expertise ensured the smooth construction of the rotunda, as well as Prater Wien GmbH, without whose support this ambitious and unique project would not have been possible: “I welcome the creation of this new attraction, a highlight for the Prater, the district and the city of Vienna! We are delighted that PANORAMA VIENNA has reached a significant milestone with the completion of the impressive roof construction after such a long time and after all forces have worked together – in a positive sense – and can now celebrate its well-deserved topping-out ceremony!” says Managing Director Michael Prohaska, delighted with the progress made at Freudplatz 4.
The new era of the Rotunda in Vienna
The multimedia presentation of the new Rotunda era in Vienna’s Prater, which PANORAMA VIENNA will usher in this year, began at the end of the speeches: Light, music and live content DJs staged plans of the construction site on the projection screens as well as excerpts from the time-lapse construction site videos by Fast Motion Systems from Graz. A special highlight was also the construction site snack served during this performance, which – in addition to tasty meat loaf rolls from the Prater Alm – featured a very special beer: at the topping-out ceremony in the rotunda of the PANORAMA VIENNA, which is intended as a reminiscence of the 1873 World Exhibition, a connection that is already 161 years old was revived with the Viennese lager beer served by the Schwechat brewery. As early as 1862, at the fourth World Exhibition in London, experts and enthusiasts were able to taste this beer and awarded it high honors – in the motherland of modern brewing, after all. It remained an integral part of all world exhibitions of the 19th century – including, of course, the one held in Vienna in 1873.
After these multimedia productions, the floor was handed over to the guest of honour at the topping-out ceremony, the Mayor of Vienna, Dr. Michael Ludwig, who also thanked the hard-working employees, partners and contributors for their outstanding work and great commitment in his speech and emphasized the value of PANORAMA VIENNA for the Vienna Prater and the city of Vienna: “The rotunda of PANORAMA VIENNA is another highlight for the Vienna Prater. As a reference to its historical model, which was the centerpiece of the World Exhibition in Vienna 150 years ago, the rotunda with the planned exhibitions of impressive 360-degree panoramas is a cultural enrichment for the Vienna Prater and the city of Vienna,” the mayor explained with delight.
This was followed by the final highlight of the topping-out ceremony for the participants, as together with the mayor, PANORAMA VIENNA not only rang in the countdown to its opening, but also revealed the title of the first giant panorama that will open the exhibition at Freudplatz 4, as well as the artist behind it: the first artwork awaiting visitors is the monumental panorama ROME 312 by internationally renowned artist Yadegar Asisi, which will present the magnificent capital of the Roman Empire around 1,000 years after its foundation.000 years after its foundation at the height of its splendor – and at a decisive turning point in human history.