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From Leiner to Lamarr

On May 31, 2023, an excursion for twelve students of the TU Wien took place as part of the seminar "The Future of Construction Processes". The excursion was led by the renowned companies iC consulenten and SIGNA Group. Our destination was the site of the former Leiner furniture store in Mariahilfer Straße.

To the right of the shell is a crane, next to it a tree.

© Oleksandr Melnyk, TU Wien

A new Viennese department store called Lamarr is to be built on this site. The name is a tribute to actress and inventor Hedy Lamarr. Inspired by Berlin's famous "KaDeWe," the department store will also include a hotel with 150 rooms and a public park on the roof.

Demolition work already began in mid-May and is expected to be completed by the end of the year. The actual department store, which will have 20,000 square meters of floor space and eight floors, is expected to open in the fall of 2024. The design of the building is in the hands of the renowned architectural firm OMA, headed by Rem Koolhaas. Various interior designers are taking care of the design of the individual floors.

The Lamarr department store will deliberately depart from conventional shopping centers and present itself as a traditional store with an international flair and an experience-oriented concept. Half of the retail space will be leased to local and international partners. There will also be pop-up stores with Austrian and international designers, as well as an Art Food Market in the basement. Restaurants with various catering partners are planned for the upper floors.

The foundation concept for the building inspected called for parts of the existing building to extend to four basement levels. To meet the requirements, an additional basement had to be added. For stability, more than 250 drilled piles with corresponding reinforcements as well as 1300 DSV columns were used. The logistical challenge on the construction site was considerable, which is why the Zeppelin company developed its own logistics concept. Currently, around 250-300 skilled workers are working on the site, supported by three cranes.

Report and photos: Oleksandr Melnyk, TU Wien

Students in construction helmets stand in front of the shell and listen to the explanations.

© Oleksandr Melnyk, TU Wien

The students and our staff are standing on the roof of the shell. In the background is a crane and the Museum of Art History of Vienna.

© Oleksandr Melnyk, TU Wien