The Schrodinger Institute for Theoretical Physics
The aim of this project was to create a theoretical physics institute on an underused block adjacent to the Karlspaltz square in Vienna, while also providing a public space for the surrounding area. The institute is surrounded by four park spaces, each designed after one of the four classical elements: earth, wind, fire, and water. They are divided by public pathways that lead into the central courtyard of the building, separating the ground level of the building into four quadrants.
The circulation of the institute was based upon the idea of gravity, with the public pathways spiraling into the central courtyard, pulling people inward. In the upper levels of the building, a tight ring of stairs spiral around a central courtyard while a larger system of cantilevered ramped walkways circumscribe the exterior, like orbital paths. Above the first floor, each quadrant is on a different half-floor with each half-floor connected by the sloped, cantilevered walkways, along which the physicists' offices are located. The designation of program within the quadrants on the first floor is based on the height of the half-floors above. For example, the auditorium, which has the highest ceiling heights, is located under the highest half-floor, but also located next to the lowest half-floor allowing for access to the upper seats from there.