The new dining hall, Mensa, at Vienna University of Economics and Business occupies a large, ground floor space in the Hörsaalzentrum - a Corten steel-clad building that houses the main lecture halls and seminar rooms. Although connected to the life of the campus, Mensa reads as a separate environment, a place where students can find respite from their academic activities. To accentuate the break from the classroom and lecture hall, Mensa draws inspiration from the natural world outside the newly minted campus. Nearly all of the opaque walls in the space are outfitted with floor to ceiling glass panels featuring a printed panorama of an abstract forest landscape, designed by the Austrian artist, Markus Leitsch. The glass panels are back-lighted with Traxon Nano Liner XB RGB fixtures that change in tone and intensity during the course of the day, reflecting changes in daylight and seasonal conditions. The atmosphere changes automatically with the control of the e:cue Lighting Application Suite (LAS) and Butler S2, resulting in different environments depending on the time of day. Student feedback has been overwhelmingly positive, and Mensa has received coverage by numerous media outlets.
Artwork: Markus Leitsch (forest)
Operator : EUREST (dining hall)
Tzou Lubroth Architekten
Markus Leitsch (forest)
Tino Pfeifer, Light Sound Media Design & Engineering GmbH (LSM)