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Departments of Law and Central Administration

Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau

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dmadsen, hanley wood, llc

Project Name

Departments of Law and Central Administration

Project Status



Vienna University of Economics and Business

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Project Description


Cook Robotham Architectural Bureau has won the inaugural Colour Prize at World Architecture Festival 2014 for its Departments of Law and Central Administration, Vienna University of Economics and Business project in Austria.
Sponsored by AkzoNobel, who are also Headline Partner of the festival, the prize is the first of its kind to feature on the festival’s awards programme, the only criterion is that colour is an integral part of the exterior of the project.
The project comprises a 200 meter long pair of buildings snaking west to east in a series of brightly coloured streaks that cheer up the often grey skies of Vienna’s Prater district. The building is designed around Cook and Robotham’s strongly held belief (based on many years as University teachers) that a lively and successful college building should have generous and engaging internal spaces that are not just seminar rooms or offices, but places to ‘hang out’ and possibly encourage you to stay around after class: so these are carved out of the interior and slither around in a similar way to the building as a whole.
Eight projects from around the world were shortlisted for the prize, which was judged by a panel which included Dr Charles Robert Saumarez Smith CBE, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts, and Goh Cheok Weng, General Manager for Projects, AkzoNobel Decorative Paints for South East & South Asia.
The judges praised the project, stating that it “demonstrates how learning institutions should be fun and inspiring. This project used colour with energy and total conviction throughout.”
Goh Cheok Weng from AkzoNobel added: “The application of colour is of importance in various fields, as it produces moods. A space can be perceived as being friendly, warm, inspiring and dynamic, depending on the colours applied. In the Cook Robotham project, the associative power of colours, the impressions and symbolism, is made on a conscious level. It reiterates our belief that colour is more than just decoration and protection inducing aesthetic responses; it also induces human responses.”
As the global colour authority, AkzoNobel this week launched the latest edition of Colour Futures,
its annual global study of colour trends, providing added impetus for the company's recently launched Human Cities initiative, which has colour as one of its main pillars. Now in its 12th year, Colour Futures underlines AkzoNobel's wealth of colour expertise and deep understanding of the transformative power of colour.
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