Ilse Wallentin House – University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences Vienna

Vienna, Austria
In cooperation with SWAP Architects
Project duration: 01/2018 – 09/2020
Start of construction: 03/2019
Construction costs: approx. EUR 10,000,000
BGF: 4,950 m², GSV: 19,500 m³, NFA: 3,000 m²
Client: BIG – Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft

Ilse Wallentin was the first woman to receive a doctorate from the University of Natural Resources and Applied Life Sciences. Today, Vienna’s first wooden university building bears her name. The cubature of the Ilse Wallentin House has grown in Austria’s forests in a mere 16 minutes.

A “solitaire in timber”, “a second forest” and “a contemporary statement” for future urban planning – that’s how the CO2-neutral university building is described in the press. It is made from 78 % wood and has been awarded the Green & Blue Building Award, among others. On 3,100 m², it offers ten seminar rooms for 500 students, a library with 100 reading places and 40 institute rooms. Large windows flood all four floors with light and open up views out into the countryside.

Concrete components are reduced to a base, which forms a cantilevered terrace – an open public space, a meeting place and a marketplace of ideas. The defining element here remains wood with its many favorable properties – it provides pleasant acoustics and a profound sense of coziness. The natural indoor climate is supported by sophisticated technology and modern sensory systems.

It was about 100 years ago that Ilse Wallentin defended her doctorate, and the wood used in the low-energy house named after her grows back in Austria’s forests in just 16 minutes. Both figures represent outstanding achievements.


BOKU Wien Ilse Walentin Haus Projekt DELTA Diagramm


General planning
Integrative overall coordination
Tendering and awarding
Planning and construction site coordination
Building services
Building physics
Fire protection

Special Features

Wooden skeleton construction from cross laminated timber and wooden ribbed ceiling
Used wood will grow back within 16 minutes
Low-energy house
Floor-to-ceiling glazing, wood-glass partitions and atrium
In the 4 above-ground floors, the wood content is approx. 78 %
Around 1,000 m³ of wood were used in the entire project


2020Green & Blue Building Award
2020Austrian quality label “klimaaktiv GOLD” (965 out of 1000 possible points; 2020)

Press comments

A Building of the Future: “Showing What’s Possible”Die Presse
Timber construction like a “second forest”Die Presse
Vienna’s first university timber building opened: Ilse Wallentin House honored for sustainable constructionholzbau austria
Now a solitaire in timber construction is added.DETAIL
The new Ilse Wallentin house is compactly designed for maximum energy efficiency.architektur-online
Image reference: © Hertha Hurnaus