New science tower in Graz 

60 Meters and/or 15 stories high, 20 meter diameter at the base, 23 meters at the top edge, these are the measurements of the Science tower, the future landmark of the Smart City in the West of Graz.

From 2014, on the former Waagner-Biro grounds in Eggenberg, there will come into existence the Graz Smart City. “The Smart City will be a centre for urban technologies and will therefore form the heart of the Green-Tech-Valley”, stated Hans Höllwart, head of the significant SFL participating in the project from Stallhofen and founder of the likewise participating “Forschungszentrum für integrales Bauwesen (Research centre for integral construction)” (Fibag). “Globally there is no region where more Greentech-companies are operating than in Styria”, stated Fibag-Head Mario Müller during the project presentation. “For urban technologies the Smart City and the Green Tech Valley will become what the Silicon Valley in California is for the computer industry. A place where researchers and companies meet, stimulate each other and dedicate themselves to future issues”, clarified Müller.

Centrepiece and the first project of the Smart City to be implemented is the 60 meter tall Science tower. “Inside, companies and scientists will work on creative and innovative solutions”, said Mario Müller. Concerning for example the issues of new energies and energy-efficiency. Here the tower itself will lead by example. Around its round outer shell its own rectangular glass skin will produce electric energy. So much, that it will satisfy the energy needs of the companies working inside.

The tower was designed by architect Markus Pernthaler. Its construction will start in 2014 and it should be completed by September 2015. “But the tower will not only house the employees, it will be open to all people”, stated Mario Müller. On the roof for example there will be a relaxation zone with a botanical garden.

At the project presentation on 7 May  Mayor Siegfried Nagl, Economic minister Christian Buchmann and EU-Regional- policy-commissioner Johannes Hahn have been present. The three politicians have been hoisted to 60 meters using a crane and thus got an impression of what the city will look like from the new Science tower.

All three have shown to be visibly impressed by the Smart City project and the new Science tower. “The new city district will be sustainable and will create a new quality of life in the West of Graz”, said Mayor Siegfried Nagl at the project presentation. “It will have the rear side of the rail road station as its front side.”

Member of Government Christian Buchmann reminded that the idea to create a development axis from the main square in the West, had been planned several years ago. “The Smart City is an important part of this future axis” he said. On his part EU-regional-policy-commissioner Johannes Hahn was very impressed by the tower´s power of innovation. “The topic of energy-efficiency plays an important role for the EU and is closely associated with the climatic problems” he stated. “80% of the CO2-emissions come from cities. So it is all the more welcome when these issues are addressed and special centres such as the Smart City are created for the purpose.”

Source and Fotocredit: FIBAG

Science Tower