Oscillating between parody and dystopia, the project “Belvederetower 2055” examines questions of how to deal with Vienna’s historical heritage. Its central point of departure in this endeavour is the history and development of the Belvedere Palace and the Palais Schwarzenberg, both planned as monumental edifices outside the city walls of Vienna, Austria. The project questions the cost effectiveness and the speculative value of skyscrapers – and a rather too one-dimensional view of these issues.
The project plays with chronological levels, juxtaposing the past and future with the present, falsifying familiar perspectives and acquired knowledge, and irritating with apparently consequent logical further developments. Thus, visions of future regulations as well as social developments in Vienna are sketched out in stages up to the year 2055, the year the “Belvederetower” is constructed. The project casts a critical eye both on speculative intentions of private building projects in the inner city area and on the tendency to turn the city into a museum, as practiced by the landmark preservation authorities and in the interest of ambitious city dwellers. The supposed ecological sustainability of technical retrofitting of old buildings also falls within the project’s focus. It questions the advisable future relationship between building culture and various aspects of the economisation of architecture and the real estate business.