The new Austrian Cultural Forum tower in midtown Manhattan provides a state-of-the art home for an institution devoted to international cultural exchange. The building is the first major United States project for Austrian-born New York architect Raimund Abraham, whose design was selected in an open competition hosted by the Republic of Austria from among 226 participating architects in 1992. Facilities of the Forum tower include exhibition galleries; a flexible theater for performances, screenings, and lectures; a library; loft-like presentation areas and seminar rooms; reception and meeting spaces; staff offices; a multi-level residence for the Forum's director; and an open-air loggia at the tower's pinnacle. Occupying the diminutive (25 feet wide by 81 feet deep) mid-block site of the institution's former townhouse, the new building rises to a 24-story height with the authority of a landmark, expressing the contextual relevance of both the architecture and the Forum's mission to connect European and American creative visions.

11 East 52nd Street, between Fifth Avenue and Madison Avenue, New York City

Construction commences: September 1998
Construction complete: January 2002
Dedication: April 18, 2002
Public Opening: April 19, 2002

Republic of Austria, Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs

Bundesimmobiliengesellschaft m.b.H. (BIG), Vienna, Austria
Dr. Hartwig A. Chromy, Managing Director
Dipl.-Ing. Gerhard A. Buresch, Managing Director

Developer Representative
Hanscomb Inc., New York, United States

Atelier Raimund Abraham, New York, United States
Raimund Abraham, Principal
Project Coordinators: Simone Giostra, Peter Leeb, John Veikos, Jeff Brown
Collaborators: Anders Abraham, Chris Barlieb, Jennifer Whitburn, Catherine Seavitt,
Frank Thinius, Mike Derker, Maya Ballen

Engineers & Consultants
Ove Arup & Partners, New York, United States
Mahadev Raman, Principal in Charge
Project Manager: Steve Walker
Structural: Guy Nordensen, Dieter Feurich, Pete Tillson, Ricardo Pittella, Leo Argiris
Mechanical: Ray Quinn, Louis Arzano, Rebecca Welch, Greg Giammalvo, Fiona Cousins
Electrical: Tom Smith, Varughese Cherian, Peng Si

Ash Chawal, John Giammundo, Sam Lee, John Miller, Goel Ramos, Margarita Guelova
Administration: Gina Wall, Tania Flavia
Plumbing and Fire Protection: Igor Kitagorsky

Barney Skanska Construction Co., New York, United States

Curtain Wall Consultant
RA Heintges Architects Consultants, New York, United States

Curtain Wall Manufacture
GIG Fassadenbau GmbH, Attnang-Puchheim, Austria

Site Dimensions
Width: 25 feet
Depth: 81 feet, 4 inches

278 feet, 6 inches

Number of Floors
Below grade: 2 floors
Above grade: 24 floors (including roof terrace, mechanical and machine floors and water tank floor)

Floor Area
Gross: 33,000 square feet
Net: 24,850 square feet

Interior Breakdown (Major Features)
Lobby: 755 square feet
Gallery: 1,650 square feet
Lounge/CafZ: 413 square feet
Theater: 1,105 square feet
Library: 1,505 square feet
Communal Space: 800 square feet
Office Space: 2,770 square feet
Loft Space: 1,200 square feet
Residence Space: 5,490 square feet

Exterior Materials
Sub- and Superstructure: concrete with partial steelcrossbracing
South Elevation (facade): glass, steel and aluminum curtain wall
North, East and West Elevations: Rheinzinc panels and architectural concrete

Interior Finishes
Public Areas: bluestone pavers, ceramic tiles, painted gypsum board walls, brushed aluminum, stainless steel detailing, painted metal cladding and wood paneling

Offices and Private Residence: wood flooring, painted gypsum board walls, brushed aluminum and stainless steel detailing, painted metal cladding and glazed partitions

2 electric traction elevators
1 sidewalk material elevator

HVAC system uses floor-by-floor heat pumps for all levels above level 2.
Lower levels are conditioned using central air handling units, also incorporating heat pumps.
Modular boilers and cooling towers temper the heat pump loop.
Special use spaces include an acoustically sensitive theater and temperature- and humiditycontrolled art gallery.

Electrical Systems
High standard electrical systems include an emergency generator at the roof level, intrusion and access control, CCTV, audiovisual communications system, state-of-the-art communications network cabling systems.

Audiovisual and Acoustic Consultants
Ove Arup & Partners, New York, United States
Neill Woodger
Amir Yazdanniyaz

Teleplan, Vienna, Austria

Security Consultant
Ove Arup & Partners, New York, United States
Al Palumbo
Ron Ronnacher

Communications Consultant
Ove Arup & Partners, New York, United States
Al Lyons
Vadim Ovchinnikov

Atelier Raimund Abraham, New York, United States
Project Coordinator: Roland Eckl

List Möbelwerk GmbH, Olbersdorf, Austria

World Audio Visual Enterprises (WAVE), Mountainside, New Jersey, United States

David Sundberg, Esto Photographics, New York, United States


Bliem, E., ed. Austrian Cultural Institute, New York: An Architectural Competition. Innsbruck: Haymon-Verlag, 1993

Manhattan/Austria: The Architecture of the Austrian Cultural Institute by Raimund Abraham,
published by Architektur Zentrum Wien with Verlag Anton Pustet, 1999

Seidl, W.: Zwischen Kultur und Culture. Das Austrian Institute in New York und Österreichs kulturelle Repräsentanz in den USA. Vienna: Böhlau Verlag, 2001

Kunsthaus Bregenz, archiv kunst architektur, Schneider, E., ed. Raimund Abraham. The Austrian Cultural Forum, New York. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2005

Lepik, A., Stadler, A., ed. Raimund Abraham & The Austrian Cultural Forum NY. Ostfildern: Hatje Cantz, 2010

A PDF Version of the fact sheet may be downloaded here.

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