Art moves into Rathausstraße: opening of exhibition in the BUWOG customer and administrative centre

8/19/20
  • LED screening: art in a public space as a statement in the corona era
  • Gallery exhibition displays photographs of the Vonovia Award for Photography
  • BUWOG continues its long tradition of art in the company

On Monday, 17 August 2020, the exhibition of the Vonovia Award for Photography was officially opened in the gallery of the BUWOG Customer and Administrative Centre at Rathausstraße 1. Every year, BUWOG parent company Vonovia SE takes advantage of the award to call for an annual photographic exploration of the subject of "home". Impressive, often unanticipated, in any event stimulating and expressive interpretations of "home" – the photographs of the 33 candidates shortlisted for 2019 are now being shown in Vienna. To also make the photographs accessible to a large audience free of charge, outdoors and in the time of corona, the shortlist of the 2019 submissions will be presented daily on an LED wall facing Auerspergstrasse.

Daniel Riedl, member of the Executive Board of Vonovia SE responsible for all BUWOG operations in Austria, mentions several reasons for the firm integration of artistic forms of expression in BUWOG's new customer and administrative centre: "Art enriches our lives in both private and professional contexts. In keeping with the good tradition of our company, we would like to provide space for artistic forms of expression at Rathausstraße as well." The photographs on the subject of "home" are in the right place here in the building, where people work every day to ensure "happy living" and to create a good home for people. "The presentation of art at Rathausstraße 1 also emphasises the important role of creativity in the development and marketing of housing," according to Riedl.

 

Impressive event                                                               

In strict compliance with the corona safety measures, Daniel Riedl welcomed media representatives, photographers and selected guests to an evening in the event hall, which was dedicated to photography and also offered numerous visitors an initial opportunity to get a glimpse of the new BUWOG location from inside. Taking possible safety concerns into account, the guests were also provided an opportunity to watch a live stream of the event from the comfort of their own home. An introduction to the exhibition was given by the curator, director of the Sprengel Museum in Hannover, Dr. Reinhard Spieler. A special guest speaker was Marlene Hoberger of Austria, the winner of the award for the best new talent. All BUWOG employees had the chance to visit the exhibition together with Mr. Spieler in the morning.

New perspectives on the subject of home

Established in 2017, the Vonovia Award for Photography is endowed with a total of € 42,000 and includes three main prizes in the category "Best Photo Series" and a promotional prize for young talent for photographers under the age of 26. An independent jury of experts from the fields of photography, journalism, art and culture, teaching and the real estate industry determines who receives the award.

The diverse pictorial worlds of the participants, each with six to twelve photographic works, illustrate the expanse of the term "home" and its meanings: it can be tied as much to a place or a person or connected to a memory or express a sense of yearning and utopia. This enables viewers to gain exciting new perspectives concerning the subject of home and housing. BUWOG's intention is to provide scope to this diversity of interpretation: "We have always operated under the credo 'happy living', so it is all the more pleasing and inspiring to learn about and explore artistic perspectives on 'home' here in our building," Daniel Riedl says.

Dr. Reinhard Spieler, the curator of the exhibition, also calls attention to the fact that the photographs are more than mere decoration and that it is enriching, particularly in the workplace, to allow artistic perspectives: "Here in the light-flooded gallery, the photographs create a marvellous atmosphere we cannot escape. I find it productive to take a critical look at perspectives that diverge from our everyday jobs, especially in the modern working environment. This is added value for all of our employees."

 

Solid tradition: BUWOG and art

BUWOG's nearly 70-year history is also a history of the various ways works of art have been integrated into the corporate culture and into numerous different residential projects. In addition to a number of works that can be summarised as "site art" and the company's own collection of artworks, this also applies to the BUWOG location's artistic design. As was already the case on Hietzinger Kai, the entrance to the new customer and administrative centre on Rathausstraße is also adorned by a stele designed by Brigitte Kowanz. Realised in 2001, the steel lettering with a hidden message is shown to its best advantage in the newly designed pedestrian zone and is a symbol of BUWOG's commitment to culture. Once inside, the light sculpture by podpod Design beams in the atrium above the lobby. The lounge is adorned by a "flying living room", a wall-mounted ensemble of table and chairs from the 1950s, the era when BUWOG was founded. The "Play City" created by Karl-Heinz Klopf, photographs and a corresponding banister design, can be admired in the bistro. Together with the changing exhibitions in the gallery, these works create a working environment one can identify with and turns Rathausstraße into an art venue in the city centre. Thus BUWOG's traditional association with art has been impressively continued and expanded upon.

 

 

About BUWOG

BUWOG is the leading full-service provider in the Austrian residential property market and now looks back on 69 years of expertise. Its property portfolio encompasses approximately 22,500 units and is located in Austria. The development pipeline in Vienna includes approximately 6,300 units. In addition to Asset Management, the entire value chain of the residential sector is covered by Property Sales and Property Development. BUWOG Group GmbH is a subsidiary of Vonovia SE, Europe's leading residential company, whose headquarters are in Bochum (Germany).

 

Credit: BUWOG / Stephan Huger 

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